Trying to make a difference

How has your Hospice experience influenced your understanding of end of life issues? My hospice experience has been extremely positive! I did not expect it to be this way. I thought it would be somber and sad, but instead I have been able to have meaningful friendships, although sometimes very short, with people I would … Continue reading “Trying to make a difference”


How Hospice Has Changed My Opinion On Death

Over the past semester I have had the opportunity to be a Season’s Hospice volunteer. My experience has been eye opening, as well as life changing. Going into this program I knew it was going to be different than anything else I have every experienced, but I was not expecting that so many emotions would … Continue reading “How Hospice Has Changed My Opinion On Death”


My Journey of Life and Death

Mother Teresa once said, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” This quote embodies the goals of the Ascend Hospice program for which I volunteered. In our world, all humans … Continue reading “My Journey of Life and Death”


How Hospice Has Changed Me

One of the most meaningful Hospice relationships surprisingly did not occur in the hospital, but instead occurred while I was making Tuck-In calls to patients. Most Thursdays, I would make calls to patients and their family members to ensure that patients had enough supplies and support going into the weekend. Most of the time, patients … Continue reading “How Hospice Has Changed Me”


Accepting Death While Remaining Human

The experience that Ascend Hospice has offered me is irreplaceable. Throughout my year here, I have been formally assigned to three different patients but have seen a lot more. Every single one got me thinking about life in one way, shape or form. The experience has forced me to be vulnerable, to dig deep within … Continue reading “Accepting Death While Remaining Human”


Honesty is the Best Policy

In my experience with hospice volunteering in the last 5 months, I have learned more in such a short amount of time than I ever could have in a classroom. As a 20-year old, I am what people might consider “lucky” when it comes to dealing with death. I have never had to deal with … Continue reading “Honesty is the Best Policy”


My Hospice Experience

Throughout the last year, I have spent time volunteering in the inpatient hospice unit at West Penn Hospital as well as visiting the home of a patient with late stage dementia. Before I began this volunteering, I had no experience with death nor had I considered my feelings about death. However, through our discussions with … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”


Hospice Care and Compassion- Why It Matters

Every time I tell people I volunteer at a hospice, I get the same reaction. People are always asking me, “Isn’t that sad?” or “How can you do that?” I can never quite explain to people why my volunteering doesn’t make me depressed or cause me to fear my own mortality. I think people are … Continue reading “Hospice Care and Compassion- Why It Matters”


Hymns and Hospice

I was still a little flustered over missing my bus when I stepped into the hospice unit for my very first day of volunteering. After introducing myself to the nurses, I began working through the list of activities outlined for volunteers to complete and quickly settled into the homey environment of the unit. About halfway … Continue reading “Hymns and Hospice”


Sensible and Sensitive Thought

On my first day of hospice volunteering, I was nervous. I really didn’t want to feel afraid because I knew death was a natural occurrence. I understood that everyone has to die, and if I truly wanted to be a doctor I might have to deal with death every day. I thought to be an … Continue reading “Sensible and Sensitive Thought”