The lady in room 441

I can say undoubtedly that this experience has changed my life. Speaking with full disclosure, my first day at the unit I was shell-shocked. Most of the patients were non-responsive, the atmosphere was silent with only a few moans due to the pain of being moved. In most hospitals, volunteers talk with patients and walk them … Continue reading “The lady in room 441”

Hospice Reflection

I was pretty nervous when I started volunteering in hospice care. Looking back, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. I thought it wouldn’t be much different from my previous volunteer experiences in the ER and ICU, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. On one of my first nights as a volunteer, … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection”

Tuesdays & Fridays with Rich

Death is not the ultimate tragedy of life. The ultimate tragedy is depersonalization–dying in an alien and sterile area, separated from the spiritual nourishment that comes from being able to reach out to a loving hand, separated from the desire to experience the things that make life worth living, separated from hope. –Mitch Albom, Tuesdays … Continue reading “Tuesdays & Fridays with Rich”

Pre-med Hospice Experiences of an Aspiring Biomedical Researcher

I have been seeing the same patient, Catherine Glenn, since November. She is 97 years old and has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She has some short-term memory loss but is often quite coherent and enjoys talking. My most meaningful interactions with Catherine were when she remembered me for the first time and when … Continue reading “Pre-med Hospice Experiences of an Aspiring Biomedical Researcher”

An Unexpected Interaction

This program affected me more than I could have ever expected when I first applied. I remember being really anxious about if the nurses would be mean, fitting it into my schedule, and mostly about being around patients on the verge of death, as I had never seen a dead body before. I was unsure of how … Continue reading “An Unexpected Interaction”

Being a Hospice Volunteer – Combining Youth and Old

Throughout my year volunteering at Hospice, my character and personhood have grown in unique ways because of my experiences and interactions with the patients. Almost every Friday, I visit PCC for a couple of hours, and the aging clients that I have met have turned into inspiring compassions. They have grown on me so much … Continue reading “Being a Hospice Volunteer – Combining Youth and Old”

A Different Experience, but an Experience Nonetheless

Throughout the span of the year, I have visited a single patient. She lived in her own home, a few houses down from one of her children. During the first semester, she had a consistent aid, but throughout the second semester, each time I visited there was a different aid. Throughout the year, there was … Continue reading “A Different Experience, but an Experience Nonetheless”

Lessons of a Hospice Volunteer

During my time in this Pre-Med Hospice Program, I have been lucky enough to make four wonderful friends to people who have entered the final stage of their lives. However, one of these relationships had a deeper impact on me than the others. Part of the reason why I think I had a deeper relationship … Continue reading “Lessons of a Hospice Volunteer”

Power of Voice

I was matched with a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She was not very verbal since our first meeting. I spent most of the time just sitting with her and holding her hand. I did not talk to her a lot since I found it to be very awkward to hold a one-way conversation—I am … Continue reading “Power of Voice”