The Boundaries of Medical Treatments and the Importance of Self-Understanding

My most meaningful hospice relationship was with a 50 year-old patient named Tom. On the day I visited Tom, it was his 50th birthday and he had balloons and cards from family visits earlier in the day. After introducing myself, Tom’s first response was mentioning that today was his birthday and that he was spending … Continue reading “The Boundaries of Medical Treatments and the Importance of Self-Understanding”

How Hospice Changed My Perspective on Death and Dying in Medicine

Before my hospice experience, the only way I could conceptualize death and dying was through images of hospital rooms, death, and loss. I accepted death as natural, but it had a sense of sterility, and in the medical sense, I, like many, tied death to defeat. Over the course of my hospice experience, I have … Continue reading “How Hospice Changed My Perspective on Death and Dying in Medicine”

A Different Perspective on Death

Volunteering in the Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program has been a rewarding experience I did not expect in the entire duration of the academic year. It was something unique compared to other volunteer programs as it involved more patient communication and interaction. Death has been one of the topics not openly discussed in society, and my … Continue reading “A Different Perspective on Death”

Being Comfortable With Death

A difficult problem arises as society advances and medical technologies and treatments improve. In times like these, it is hard not to strive for the most aggressive form of treatment for one’s patient in hopes of prolonging their life. Yet, the endeavor of the medical profession should not solely be based on survival, but overall … Continue reading “Being Comfortable With Death”

A Glimpse into Two Lives

It is difficult to put experiences, much less people, into words. One could never do someone justice when describing all that they are, and how they have touched our lives. Nonetheless, it is important that we do so; we should not keep these experiences just for ourselves. This hospice experience was something I had never … Continue reading “A Glimpse into Two Lives”

Coming to Terms

This past year has been an exceptional learning experience for me. In addition to volunteering for Hospice of Piedmont, I have been taking a course titled “Intro to U.S. Healthcare” which explores the United States’ health systems. Last week, for example, our seminar’s topic for the week was “Aging, Geriatrics, Dying and Bioethics.” Many of … Continue reading “Coming to Terms”

Lessons from those who left, but are not forgotten.

During my time as a volunteer in the West Penn Hospital, I have learned and gained a lot of insight about people’s daily suffering and this common and omnipresent process that we begin the moment we are born: Death. Death is a natural occurrence that everyone experiences in different ways because we are all different, … Continue reading “Lessons from those who left, but are not forgotten.”

Patients: Not Just Ill Ones

When I visited Mr. A for the first time, we found out that we were born on the same day. We both agreed that people who share a birthday should become best friends, and twenty minutes into the conversation, we did. I am awful at starting conversations but Mr. A always has something to say. … Continue reading “Patients: Not Just Ill Ones”

A New Idea of Treatment

A New Idea of Treatment ——————– Treatment is not synonymous with getting better. That is the quintessential lesson I’ve learned from hospice care. My idea of patient treatment was vastly different and extraordinarily limited prior to experiencing and learning about hospice care. To me, treatment meant being in the hospital, patient and doctor fighting whatever … Continue reading “A New Idea of Treatment”

A Deeper Understanding of Dying

A knock on the door goes unanswered. I step into the room, raise my voice to a stereo decibel, and say, “Hello Mr. Jackson!” Confused and dazed, Mr. Jackson responds, “Hello? What are you doing here?” I reassure him that I am just a guest there to chat and catch up on how things are … Continue reading “A Deeper Understanding of Dying”