In The Face of Loss: Where Little Wins Make The Biggest Difference

When I first joined this program, I had been learning how to cope with my grandfather’s transition into a nursing home. His dementia had been rapidly progressing and I watched his mental decline grow worse alongside my family with each subsequent visit. Coming into this program, I had some prior experience with patients in nursing … Continue reading “In The Face of Loss: Where Little Wins Make The Biggest Difference”

Through the Stained Glass: Lessons in Life and Purpose from Hospice Care

The first thing that came out of my mouth every Friday at 3 pm was, “Hey “Joseph”, what are you working on today?” Little did I know that behind that bathroom door lay a world of colorful glass and profound wisdom, waiting to shape my understanding of life and purpose. “Joseph”, a 93-year-old man I … Continue reading “Through the Stained Glass: Lessons in Life and Purpose from Hospice Care”

Final thoughts

My experience as a hospice volunteer was one that I highly value. Though I was only able to participate for a semester as I didn’t return to campus during the spring semester, my visits with patients in the fall were meaningful and provided me with insight about this essential part of patient care. I visited … Continue reading “Final thoughts”

Reflection on Experience at Haverford Sunrise in Haverford, Pennsylvania

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the pre-med hospice volunteer program, and I am thankful for each of the interactions that I shared throughout the past year. I vividly remember one of my most impactful interactions. A fellow student and I were meeting with a husband and wife, and the husband was comforting his wife … Continue reading “Reflection on Experience at Haverford Sunrise in Haverford, Pennsylvania”

My relationship with mortality

I wasn’t assigned a patient during the program, but I did still learn a lot by talking with the volunteer manager and by engaging with the materials sent out each week. Something meaningful that happened to me is that while progressing through the program, I find myself more comfortable with the idea of mortality and … Continue reading “My relationship with mortality”

The Importance of Treating the Spirit

This year with the Athena Hospice program has given me invaluable experiences and life lessons that I plan to take with me for the future. Over the course of this program, I have been able to create genuine relationships with my patients  and it opened my eyes to care in a way that I have … Continue reading “The Importance of Treating the Spirit”

Irish Jigs and Disco Balls: Joy in the Face of Dying

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I signed up to become a hospice volunteer. I suppose that based on my experiences watching my grandparents go through end-of-life care, I imagined that my visits might involve talking with patients about death, consoling them in their pain, and offering a hand to hold or a … Continue reading “Irish Jigs and Disco Balls: Joy in the Face of Dying”

Year-End Reflection

The ability to make a connection with someone and listen to their story, passions, and experiences has always been a favorite of mine. Though my time with my patient “Thomas” was short, it was one of my favorite experiences of this school year. “Thomas” was a wonderful and caring soul! The love and energy he … Continue reading “Year-End Reflection”

More Than Medicine

Throughout the program, my group and I visited many individuals across various care centers. While it was challenging to forge deep connections given the limited duration of our visits, one invaluable lesson I learned was the significance of viewing each patient through a multifaceted lens, beyond the confines of their medical diagnosis alone. One memory … Continue reading “More Than Medicine”

Lessons Learned from Life and death

Throughout my participation in the Pre-Med Hospice Program, I embarked on a journey that profoundly shifted my perspective on life and death. The program’s reflections and prompts, such as ‘Imagine yourself in the patient’s shoes’ and ‘Reflect on a time when you felt most at peace ‘, allowed me to explore the intricacies of end-of-life … Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Life and death”