Meet Angie Krall, regional director of hospice operations for Encompass Health – Home Health & Hospice. Krall started with Encompass Health as a regional administrator, overseeing a few of our Alabama locations, and has made a significant impact with our hospice service line ever since. Here, Krall shares her experience working in hospice care, how she manages a successful team and the importance of goal setting.
As we all know, hospice can be emotionally challenging. What got you started in this career?
Early in my nursing career, I had the opportunity to care for a hospice patient who was transitioning at the end of his life. This provided me the opportunity to support and educate the patient and family throughout his hospice journey. The beauty of ensuring comfort at the end of life is very impactful and for that reason, I chose hospice nursing as my career path. I often hear “I don’t know how you do what you do”, and I am happy to share how rewarding working in hospice care really is. I believe the end of life should be celebrated just as much as the beginning. I can’t imagine any other career path.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It’s hard to pick just one thing! I love receiving survey feedback from our patient’s caregivers detailing the great care our Encompass Health teams have provided throughout their hospice journey. It affirms the difference our hospice care teams make in the lives of our patients and their families daily.
Another rewarding part of my job is seeing individual employee growth and branch success. I love visiting branches and seeing the pride our Encompass Health staff have in the work they do each day. Our leaders are motivational, and I love the friendly competition they have in being the best of the best!
What is the biggest challenge you face in the hospice industry and how do you overcome that?
The stigma that being admitted to hospice means that you are “ready to die,” when in fact, hospice is all about living. Hospice care focuses on quality of life through dignity, respect, and comfort throughout each patient’s disease progression. Education is key to overcoming most challenges and my message has always been that hospice is not about how long a person has to live, but about how great we can make it.
What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?
I am thankful each day for the opportunity to mentor and celebrate my teams. Investing in the professional development of each team member is a top priority for branch success. I am committed to empowering others to be their best self and building a strong culture in each branch. Building a strong team through effective communication, respect and empathy is important in any leadership role. Effective leadership starts with earning the trust and respect of your team and having accountability throughout the team. I love the core values Encompass Health delivers each day to ensure we are providing a better way to care for each patient and caregiver we serve.
What is the key to forming relationships while working in hospice?
Compassion and effective communication are the key to forming any relationship. I believe you need to be personable and take the time to really listen during conversations. Empathy and accountability to your patients and teammates helps mold and strengthen your relationships. Education and coaching are essential to continue the mutual respect and appreciation created in each relationship.
How does goal setting help you become a better leader? What are a few of your own goals?
Goal setting is essential to becoming a trusted leader in any role. I set daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals in my role as regional director of operations, along with personal and career goals. There is a sense of accomplishment in meeting your goals, and there is value in revising unmet goals with new lead measures. A current professional goal I have is to develop and strengthen my leadership through either self-study or our Encompass Development Center courses on a quarterly basis. As regional director, I have also set the goal to visit and celebrate my teams at each of my branch locations monthly.