Q&A: Hospice Hero Pamela Naumann focused on making each day count

Pamela Naumann
Pamela Naumann

Pamela Naumann is a registered nurse and a 20-year veteran of Carroll Hospice, where she currently serves as the organization’s liaison and ambassador to the community.

“She is known for always doing what needs to be done for patients and those that love them,” Carroll Hospice spokeswoman Simone Lindsay wrote of Naumann in an email. “She is extremely generous with her personal time.”


Naumann has been named one of six Hospice Heroes for 2019, people and organizations recognized for their outstanding commitment to the hospice and its mission to care for and comfort people in their last six months of life.

The Times recently caught up with Naumann to learn more about how it feels to be a Hospice Hero ahead of the upcoming April 29 Taste of Carroll fundraiser, a food and drink event that supports Carroll Hospice.

Q: How does it feel to be named a Hospice Hero?

A: I am very honored and humbled to be named a Hospice Hero. Hospice is my passion and I feel privileged and blessed to be a part of someone’s end of life journey. My goal is to assist in making each patient feel valued, respected, dignified, comfortable and have a better quality of life. To me, being named Hospice Hero is an acknowledgement that my work is appreciated by members of my hospice team that I, in turn, respect so dearly. I absolutely love who I work with and to be able to service my community.

Q: What did you do prior to coming to Carroll Hospice and how did you get involved?

A: I have been a nurse for over 21 years, and I’ve worked at Carroll Hospice since 2008. I realized I wanted to be a hospice nurse in 2001 after caring for my mother-in-law, who died of colon cancer. I took care of her almost every day, along with my father-in-law, until she passed away. It was a very special experience for me; one that changed my whole world and inspired me to pursue a role in hospice.

Q: Tell me about the work that you do and how long you have been doing it?

A: In 2008, I began as an inpatient registered nurse (R.N.) at Dove House, Carroll Hospice’s inpatient hospice facility. Since then, I’ve earned my certification as a hospice nurse. Currently, I am a full-time hospice liaison at Carroll Hospice, while still working as a hospice R.N., as needed, at Dove House, home, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

As a hospice liaison, I evaluate patients to see if they meet criteria for hospice, educate families on the benefits of hospice if the patient qualifies, collaborate with the Carroll Hospital staff, assist in facilitating patients’ discharges, and admit patients within Carroll Hospital if Dove House is full or too unstable for transport.

As a Dove House nurse and an admissions nurse, I collaborate with the patient, patient’s family, and the hospice team to ensure that a patient’s plan of care is patient specific. I work to ensure the patient has the best quality of life while providing dignity, comfort, compassion and respect. My goal is to make everyone feel valued and to walk along their journey ensuring their care is the same as I would want to be treated and supporting their families.

My role does not just stop as a hospice R.N. I am a mother of seven. I am on the clinical ladder at Carroll Hospital, participate in many committees and community events, and assist in educational days at the hospital.

I have also been an adjunct Allied Health instructor for the Carroll County Career & Technology Center since 2001. I truly believe in embracing our young; while giving back to my profession. While teaching, I incorporate my love for hospice and the benefits of making sure “you make each day count vs. counting the days.” Hospice has a lot of misconceptions but if I can make a difference in one person’s life, then that is a win.

Q: What’s one of the most challenging things about this work?

A: The most challenging thing about this work is when the days get really busy. I can’t speak for any other profession but when you are talking about end of life; that is not something you want to rush. Many people ask me how I can be a hospice nurse; but it is a blessing to be able to part of their end of life journey. I have seen a lot of beautiful things.


Q: What is one of the most rewarding things about this work?

A: One of hospice’s goals is to honor patients’ wishes and help to make patients’ final wishes come true. This is one of the most rewarding things about my work. Carroll Hospice has such an amazing team; I am thankful every day for them. Because of such a wonderful team that supports each other, the challenging days are more bearable and the good days are more rewarding.

Examples include participating in a baptism; a wedding reception; a beach party; tail gate party; and Valentine’s day dinner. I’ve made arrangements with Carroll Hospital’s Family Birthplace to enable a patient to be able to see his unborn child and listen to her heartbeat, and for a patient to attend a nursing pinning ceremony for her daughter inside the patient’s room. I truly believe when you can make memories like this, it helps in the healing process after their loved one is gone.

Q: Why should people consider coming out to A Taste of Carroll on April 29?

A: Taste of Carroll’s benefits are three-fold. It benefits such a wonderful organization as Carroll Hospice; it showcases many restaurants and small businesses; and the food is so good.

Carroll Hospice does so many good things for its patients, their families and the community. With fundraising events like the Taste of Carroll, Carroll Hospice is able to provide services like bereavement counseling in the Emergency Department, Camp T.R., food for families who are at Dove House, support patients who do not have insurance and so much more. I don’t think everyone knows the impact that fundraising can make.