Eunice “Nini” Covert, RN has truly cherished treating her patients and families with care, tenderness and support this past year as a staff RN at the Suncoast Hospice Care Center – Mid-Pinellas. Nini’s honored to comfort them along their journeys at the end of life, inspired by the care and compassion that Empath Health provided to her own father.
1. What is your professional background?
I’ve been a registered nurse for 18 years. I just celebrated my one-year anniversary with the Mid-Pinellas care center.
2. Why did you decide to go in to hospice nursing?
Over the past five years, I’ve participated in mission trips in third world nations in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. Those experiences have taught me the importance of the human touch in the humblest of settings. Most of my nursing career has focused on curing and battling a disease or an illness. Hospice and palliative care, by nature, concede the focus back to the patient and family where it belongs.
3. Who are the members of the care teams?
The interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) at our care centers may include nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual care coordinators and other expert professionals who provide our hospice patients pain and symptom management. We collaborate daily as every patient has an individualized care plan.
4. What type of care do you provide as a staff RN?
Our care center nurses provide frontline medical care and comfort for our patients. Like all hands-on nurses, we perform skilled clinical assessments of our patients. Our patients have a life expectancy of six months or less and our advocacy and education revolve around guiding patients, families and friends through the dying process. We promote quality of life for our patients by managing symptoms and controlling pain.
Comfort, respect and dignity illustrate the hospice nurse relationship with patients and their loved ones. We provide strength and high regard to those we value deeply – our patients and their families.
5. What are your goals in your work?
I aim to reflect the grace, mercy and compassion that have been given to me.
6. What would you say to the patients and families who are considering hospice care?
My father was in hospice care and the one-year anniversary of his death just passed. One of our care centers and our Empath Home Health provided compassionate, professional care to my father and unconditional support to me and my family.
I’m not just a hospice nurse, I’m a daughter and I loved my father very much. I’m forever grateful to every hospice team member who had any contact with my father. Extending dignity and empathy to others in our care is a wonderful way for me to remember and honor my father.
7. What lessons have you learned that you want to share with other nurses?
It’s important to always be thankful. Remembering the gifts you’ve been given will go a long way.
Our three Suncoast Hospice Care Centers are available for any Suncoast Hospice patient who needs help getting their severe or acute pain and symptoms under control. These calm, warm settings provide 24/7 access to care, helping patients regain their comfort and support families. Call us to learn more at 727-467-7423 or go to EmpathHealth.org.