The Journey of Hospice

My patient was a beautiful soul. Her room was fully decorated with pieces of art, lamps, little glass trinkets and it really made the place feel like it was her home. You could imagine the entirety of her home based on the decorations at hand. Her hair was always so well maintained, thoroughly brushed and … Continue reading “The Journey of Hospice”


The choosing when there are no options.

My patient, “P”, was an elderly woman with highly advanced dementia, a high level of hearing loss and limited mobility. She was well loved by her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren, most of whom lived nearby and were able to visit on a regular basis. When I first met her, her daughter in law … Continue reading “The choosing when there are no options.”


Hospice Volunteer Learning Experience

This experience was very valuable in helping me learn more about the medical system and how senior care is implemented. More importantly, in my opinion, this experience taught me more about how people view death and how having relationships, however brief, are so important to a meaningful existence. Over 6 to 7 months, I met … Continue reading “Hospice Volunteer Learning Experience”


Embracing Compassionate Connections: Insights from Hospice Volunteering

My patient, “Ms. Katherin” was a 90-year-old woman with heart disease. She was a kind-hearted soul, she was very social person and enjoyed socializing with others despite her illness. Our relationship as a Hospice volunteer and patient was built upon trust, empathy, and companionship. I visited her weekly in the residential house to provide emotional … Continue reading “Embracing Compassionate Connections: Insights from Hospice Volunteering”


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”


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”


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”


The Lasting Impact of a Hospice Patient: Through the Gift of Learning

The world is a marble heart and everyone has a small piece within. The heart is fragile, broken, and disgustingly beautiful. When I started to volunteer, my knowledge grew to a different level than I have ever seen before. Growing up, I was taught that death was a way to celebrate our loved ones by … Continue reading “The Lasting Impact of a Hospice Patient: Through the Gift of Learning”


Sometimes You Just Need to Color

In my experience as a volunteer for the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program, I have learned valuable vocational skills that will be useful in my future career. Most importantly, I have learned how important it is for someone to have personal agency during their dying process. At the beginning of this program, my fear … Continue reading “Sometimes You Just Need to Color”


Goodbyes

We live our lives dreading the topic of death, lest we provoke the Grim Reaper, Azrael, Yama, or whatever names we choose to personify death with. We understand that our time on earth is fleeting, and we are uncertain of when we will be unable to make the morning rush. I joined the hospice program … Continue reading “Goodbyes”