The Art of Hospice Nursing

For Mary Fyfe, a Community Healthcare of Texas Admissions Nurse and gifted portrait artist, nursing and art have a lot in common. 

How do you incorporate your art into your everyday life?

It’s almost like a form of self-care. Art is a different way of thinking. It exercises a different part of my brain, and it’s invigorating for me.

Do you recognize similarities between drawing portraits and caring for patients?

Portraits reflect an individual’s unique character – even through what some may see as imperfections. Portraits capture the essence of who people are. It’s similar to hospice nursing, every person has a story, and whether I am drawing or sitting at a patient’s bedside, I want to hear their story.

Nursing wasn’t your original career choice, so how did you decide to make a change?

It really was a leap of faith. I was an Academic Advisor at the University of North Texas, where I received my degree in Fine Arts. I loved helping students, but I knew I wanted to do more – although I never dreamed it would be nursing. And as I began to look at career options and specifically helping professions, I kept coming back to nursing, so I returned to school and earned my nursing degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

With so many different types of nursing, why hospice?

My nursing background ranges from caring for patients before and after surgery to travel nursing to urology – just to name a few. But many years ago, my father was on hospice, and it was an incredibly moving experience for our entire family. It brought our family together and was a gift to us. And I knew I wanted to give that same gift to other families, so in 2010 I became a hospice nurse, and I haven’t looked back since.

What do you love most about your work as a hospice nurse?

I love getting to know the patients and their families and learning their stories. Once I understand who they are – who they really are – we can work together to formulate a plan to make this time count for the patient and the family.

What is the biggest surprise for families when you first meet with them?

I think families are amazed by how much time I spend with them. In other places I have worked, nurses are overextended and don’t get a lot of time with patients. But here, we spend quality time with them and educate them on what to expect for their care and the progression of their illness. What we offer is priceless.

Why did you choose to join the Community Healthcare of Texas team?

Before I started working at Community in 2022, I worked for a for-profit hospice provider. Over the years, I had heard so many positive things about Community and the way they supported their nurses and their patients. I knew this would be a better fit for me, and I was right.

If you’re interested in learning about career opportunities at Community Healthcare of Texas, visit


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