Saying Goodbye

I visited Maria from the beginning of the program through mid-February. The first time I visited I introduced myself, and she slept the whole visit. Little did I know then how my following visits would be filled with stories, kindness, and laughter. She would often repeat her favorite stories in one visit word for word with … Continue reading “Saying Goodbye”

Introduction to Palliative Care and Meaningful Experiences

Volunteering with Ascend Hospice this year has given me both a new outlook on my future career and on my personal life. By interacting with some very special end-of-life patients, I have been able to reflect more carefully on my role in the comfort of others and how I, in my life, can be helpful … Continue reading “Introduction to Palliative Care and Meaningful Experiences”

Bob and Me

When I first met Bob, I wondered how this was ever going to work. I had no way to communicate with him; any question I asked him would simply float around in his mind for a while, then leave just as quickly. In the first few weeks, much of the time we spent together was … Continue reading “Bob and Me”

Death Is Not All About Sadness

I did not know what to expect when I arrived for my first visit as a hospice volunteer. I only had the information I was given beforehand. I was told that many patients in hospice have dementia or can be reluctant to respond, and I was a little nervous that I may have a difficult … Continue reading “Death Is Not All About Sadness”

My time as a hospice volunteer

I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a hospice volunteer these past few months. Being a volunteer provided me with valuable experience and a better understanding of the cycle of life and the process of working with those who are nearing the end of life. I have had three patients during … Continue reading “My time as a hospice volunteer”

My Hospice Experience

Throughout the year, the Pre-med Hospice Program has allowed me to see a different side of medicine. A caring, patient-oriented side of healthcare in which death is mourned, but accepted. It has shown me that sometimes the best medicine is not full of interventions and aggressive treatments, but rather making patients as comfortable as possible … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”

A Difficult Dance

I treasure many of my interactions with hospice patients—each patient taught me something different and valuable about the process of dying and reflecting on one’s life. One interaction that stands out in particular involved a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, named Anne. Anne was incredibly unreceptive to my attempts to engage with her. In fact, she … Continue reading “A Difficult Dance”

A Surprise Connection

One of the most impactful relationships I have had through this hospice program was one that was very unexpected. I was asked to sit vigil by a nursing home for a patient who was deteriorating and was expected to pass away very soon. When I was called and asked to do this I was immediately … Continue reading “A Surprise Connection”

The Journey

After starting the Hospice program and telling my friends and family about this new opportunity, I received responses such as, “That sounds depressing” and “Are you sure you want to do that?”. I knew that it was something that I wanted to do because I plan on being a medical professional one day, and I’m … Continue reading “The Journey”

Lessons from Hospice Care

One patient I visited was named Sarah, and she liked to talk with her hands. She was usually in the dining room, so I would kneel next to her while she sat at one of the tables. This was one of the few patients I visited who could still speak and make eye contact, and … Continue reading “Lessons from Hospice Care”