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Working at Penn Wissahickon Hospice

One of the oldest and largest hospice programs in the Philadelphia region, Wissahickon Hospice has been setting the standard of hospice care since 1982. Serving patients and their families in Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, Bucks and Montgomery counties, Wissahickon Hospice cares for patients with a wide variety of diagnoses including cancer, end-stage heart disease, end-stage dementia and other terminal illnesses.

Part of Penn Home Care & Hospice Services, Wissahickon Hospice's holistic philosophy takes a pro-active approach to pain and symptom management and recognizes that pain extends beyond the physical. It addresses the symptoms of illness as well as patient's emotional and spiritual concerns assisting patients and their loved ones with the challenges that come with death and dying.

Wissahickon Hospice provides a supportive environment for the patient and family to rely on, including four types of hospice care:

  • Basic daily care
  • Continuous care
  • Nursing home care including respite care
  • Inpatient care

In addition, Wissahickon Hospice provides bereavement services after the patient's death, including a children's bereavement program.

The multidisciplinary hospice team provides a wide range of support, allowing patients to live out their final months comfortably, in control, and with the dignity and respect they deserve. All team members, RNs to social workers, home health aides and bereavement specialists, administrative and financial staff are trained in hospice and end-of-life issues, regardless of their discipline, and are sensitive to the need for the patient's comfort and peace of mind.

In order to maintain and surpass pain management standards, Wissahickon Hospice stresses specialized, ongoing education for all hospice nurses. The diverse training program includes:

  • Hospice orientation to train nurses in palliative care
  • A clinical nurse educator, who performs frequent reviews of pain and symptom management methods and issues
  • Nursing grand rounds program, in which nurses receive training in palliative issues (such as medication management). A Penn Medicine physician is part of the presentation team for every grand rounds session

As an alternative to hospice care, patients and families may choose the Caring Way program. This special home care program is for patients with an end-stage illness who may be continuing curative treatment or are not prepared to accept hospice care. Caring Way utilizes hospice nurses to provide care to the homebound patient with a skilled nursing need. Patients who are used to living independently may be eligible for the Living Alone program, which does not have the requirement of a live-in caregiver.

Wissahickon Hospice employees are able to enjoy extensive professional development opportunities along with an exceptional benefits package.