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”


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”