For Families, Hospice Caregivers Meet Critical Needs in Critical Times

Treat patients like family.

It's part of the Riverside motto, and it's a core value that Certified Hospice Nurse Aide Gina Rowe says is key to not only caring for patients, but also colleagues.

"I enjoy working with Riverside, as the whole Riverside group is a family," said Rowe of Riverside Walter Reed Hospice on the Middle Peninsula. "Specifically, here in this office, we're even more so because we deal with a lot of traumatic things day to day."

Rowe said that the Riverside family bond creates a powerful sense of teamwork that directly contributes to successful outcomes and patient satisfaction.

"We're here for support, we're here for each other, and we're here as a team to work to take care of our patients and their families," she said. "And we do that very well."

After two years ago as a certified aide at Riverside, Rowe said she was given the opportunity to enroll in a hospice palliative care course.

She jumped at the chance to learn new skills and take on a new caregiving challenge, one that required the highest levels of dedication, compassion and teamwork.

"Being a hospice aide is different –you have to have it from the heart," she said. "You have to have the compassion and the knowledge and the team to go in and take care of someone at such a critical stage in life."

As Rowe explained, caring is so incredibly important in the hospice environment "because it is a critical time, not only for the patient, but for the family, and for us, because we become very attached to them all. "

"I mean, that's part of Riverside –we care."