Our “Together as One” series spotlights nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others who positively impact the lives of hospice patients and their families every day. Through the dedicated and compassionate work of these inspiring professionals, patients receive the high-quality care and attentive consideration they deserve. Together with innovative and responsive hospice partners, they create the network of support so essential to hospice care. We invite you to meet the people behind the mission—and see what one can do.
Christine Ramos, RN
Broward County Supervisor and Admissions Mentor
Fort Lauderdale, FL
What inspired you to become a nurse?
After 9/11 happened, I knew in my heart that I wanted to become a nurse. I went back to school and completely changed my career. It was the best decision of my life.
How did you come to work in hospice specifically?
My stepfather had non-small cell lung cancer and was in hospice at home during the last five months of his life. I was in nursing school at the time and was so touched by the compassion and care he was given and the support my mother had. I knew that one day I would be a hospice nurse.
What has been your favorite or proudest moment as a nurse?
There are so many, but I would have to say that as an admission nurse, I am most proud of the gratitude the patient and family have when the patient’s wishes have been honored.
In what ways (if any) is nursing different from what you expected when you first started?
I have seen the nurses who work at the bedside are much more stressed than they were before. I am sure this is due to the nursing shortage.
Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in hospice?
I would advise them that in my opinion, it is the most rewarding profession in nursing. Also, that anyone who works in hospice truly believes that every day is a gift.
How do you keep from getting overwhelmed in your busy day-to-day?
I have a wonderful team that I work with, and we all support each other. We remind each other to eat, drink and take a deep breath.
Have there been any patients or families that have been particularly memorable? How so?
I am always touched when I see adult children that put their lives on hold to honor their loved one’s final wishes and support the surviving parent.
Has your work influenced how you think about death? In what ways?
It has helped to be as prepared as one can possibly be. I see the importance of having advance directives and to be sure that my designee will truly be able to honor my wishes.