coffee and carrying on

I see healthcare as a human right so volunteering at Hospice was my way of investing into the Baltimore community. In my medical career, I want to work with at risk and often neglected populations. The first resident I formed a unique connection with was Fernando: he liked smoking, sugar and baseball. He was from … Continue reading “coffee and carrying on”

Dying: A Ten-Year Reflection

At twenty-years-old the AHN Hospice Program gave me my first medical volunteering position, but I was ten-years-old when I had my first experience with end-of-life care. Then, everything under the umbrella of healthcare fell under two categories: wounds bandages, ice cubes, and my parents’ kisses could fix, and “the hospital.” Nasal cannulas and IV wires … Continue reading “Dying: A Ten-Year Reflection”

My Experience Volunteering for Hospice

Unfortunately, I was not assigned a patient throughout my time as a volunteer at Athena Institute Hospice. Consequently, I can not write about any Hospice related patient interactions. Nonetheless, I am able to reflect on some meaningful information that I learned over the course of the program. For instance, learning about hospice care through the … Continue reading “My Experience Volunteering for Hospice”

Reflections on my hospice experience: A call for healthcare that is more human

This past school year, I had the opportunity to temporarily join “Julia” as she navigates declining health and increasing separation from the kind of life she formerly led. I came to know “Julia” as a reserved, soft-spoken, mellow individual, surrounded by a loving family. Upon arriving at her room for our weekly visits, a cup … Continue reading “Reflections on my hospice experience: A call for healthcare that is more human”

2022-2023 Hospice experience

Hospice Reflection Date: 5/1/23 I remembered opening my email that weekend three weeks ago. As usual, I was looking whether the list of patients for today’s visit, assigned by my supervisor, had arrived. When I opened the inbox that contained the list, there was only one patient to visit, but it was a patient I … Continue reading “2022-2023 Hospice experience”

A Patient’s Top Support System: The Importance of Hospice Volunteering

I got assigned to “Patient X” in October of 2022. I feel extremely lucky to have gotten to meet, talk to and develop a relationship with “Patient X”. One hobby that both of us have in common is the joy of reading. Every time I visit him, I will either talk with him about books … Continue reading “A Patient’s Top Support System: The Importance of Hospice Volunteering”

Reflections on My Experience in Hospice

Many people regard hospice as a place circled by death. They believe it is a place where people come in and soon leave. They also believe that it’s a place not comparable to home. However, it often is the contrary based on my experience volunteering in hospice. People do come in sick, and they are … Continue reading “Reflections on My Experience in Hospice”

importance of nonverbal communications with hospice patients

Over the course of my training and practical hospice volunteer experience, I connected and felt entrusted by my assigned patient and developed a deeper understanding of hospice care. My patient Alice is a 93-year-old lady with Alzheimer’s, although the reason she was sent to hospice was unknown to us due to privacy. Alice is small … Continue reading “importance of nonverbal communications with hospice patients”

Creating Connections and Accepting Death as a Hospice Volunteer

Thanks to the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program, I have been able to foster a nourishing and supportive relationship with my hospice patient. My patient is nonverbal, therefore, I bond with them through physical touch, engaging in behavior, such as holding their hand, brushing their hair, or changing them into a clean shirt after … Continue reading “Creating Connections and Accepting Death as a Hospice Volunteer”

Understanding End of Life: A reflection about mortality and the patient experience

Since first viewing Tom Jenning’s Being Mortal and reading Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, I was struck by the idea of the two “unfixables.” The discreteness of the two items yet their broad and encompassing nature, when identified, speaks to the inherent complexity behind what are seemingly simple words: … Continue reading “Understanding End of Life: A reflection about mortality and the patient experience”