Accepted Deaths

My experiences in hospice care can be characterized as challenging and rewarding. Although I have been in Ascend Hospice for a short few months, I have created deep relationships with a patient and observed others pass on. Before entering the field, my presumption of hospice ominous. Recognizing an individual is approaching death and still familiarizing … Continue reading “Accepted Deaths”

The Importance of Listening

As a pre medical student over the past four years at the University of Pittsburgh, I have gone through bouts of uncertainty as to if I should pursue a career in the medical field. I have always enjoyed science courses and discovering how things work, however, I was worried about whether the sacrifices would be … Continue reading “The Importance of Listening”

She is queen!

“She is queen!” exclaimed a staff member of Sunrise of Westtown. My patient sends a large, beautiful grin to her and claps as I play “Got To Get You Into My Life” on the violin. It’s as if we are not in a bedroom of a hospice facility, waiting for the Sunday dinner call. No, … Continue reading “She is queen!”

Death and I: Understanding Death and the process of Dying through the Hospice System

I am friends with Death. Perhaps, “friends” is not the correct word, rather I am an acquaintance of the faceless, omnipotent entity whose presence we are constantly reminded of in our lives. Whether in watching an ant clinging onto its last moments after being squashed or listening to news of a tragic bombing that news … Continue reading “Death and I: Understanding Death and the process of Dying through the Hospice System”

Understanding Death

Death is not an easy topic to approach, nor to understand. As humans, there is so much uncertainty regarding what happens to us when we leave this life, which is perhaps why it makes us so uncomfortable. We have no answers, which is why it is important to come to terms with the idea of … Continue reading “Understanding Death”

A reflection on my time with Seasons

When I first applied to become a hospice volunteer it was because of my Grandma. She became a hospice patient this summer at 97 years old. I ended up spending about a month with her just to keep her company. I was really glad that I did for three reasons. The first reason was that … Continue reading “A reflection on my time with Seasons”

hospice reflection

My experience with Seasons Hospice has broadened my worldview of the concept of end-of-life care. I’ve stepped away from my preconceived notions that hospice care is a morbid and depressing institution. Instead, my experience and training has converted my views into seeing hospice care as a comforting and relieving process. Hospice care is not necessarily … Continue reading “hospice reflection”

Cultivating Compassion in Medicine

Unconditional love is a dwindling privilege. I was blessed with a formidable support system. My grandma considered me as her “weakness,” but I always strive to be her strength as she was to me. Last year was the last time I saw her. Disheveled, emaciated, forlorn. Trying to memorize her face was futile. My mind … Continue reading “Cultivating Compassion in Medicine”

The Art of Medicine

“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” – Louis Lasagna, 1964, Modern version of the Hippocratic Oath Compared to medicine as was practiced in the era of Ancient Greece, modern medicine is far more … Continue reading “The Art of Medicine”

The Little Moments

Coming into the Ascend Hospice program, I was a naïve young woman who has not had much experience in dealing with death, so I was not sure what to expect. After a year of volunteering, although I am still young, I can say that I am a little less naïve, and there are definitely a … Continue reading “The Little Moments”