Journeys of Compassion: Reflections on Hospice Volunteering

The patient who I was visiting during the fall of 2023, whom we will call “Sue”, was an elderly woman in her late seventies. She had just been diagnosed with brain cancer not too long before being put on hospice. The cancer was affecting her ability to hear and she was constantly very fatigued. She … Continue reading “Journeys of Compassion: Reflections on Hospice Volunteering”

Talkative Rose

This semester I had the privilege of making weekly visits to sweet, caring and talkative “Rose”. Vastly different from my first patient, Rose eagerly awaited seeing us every week and upon our arrival, would immediately sit straight up, turn off her television and give us her whole attention. And while Rose loved to talk about … Continue reading “Talkative Rose”

A Life-Changing Experience

As this program comes to a close, I would like to take the time to reflect on my experiences as a hospice volunteer. The patient that I would like to talk about is named “JR” for the sake of her privacy and to ensure confidentiality. My patient and I got very close over the course … Continue reading “A Life-Changing Experience”

Life and Death

During this experience I am grateful to say that I have made one very meaningful relationship. This patient truly opened up to me about their life and their own personal experiences. I truly never thought that I would have met a person like this in such a short amount of time. When I first began … Continue reading “Life and Death”

Peace of Mind

I did not understand what death was until I decided to become a hospice volunteer. I had relatives in the past who had passed away when I was at a young age but never understood what they actually went through, until now. My pop-pop had a seizure when I was in elementary school and one … Continue reading “Peace of Mind”

Finding a Cure

Unfortunately, due to the lasting effects of the pandemic, I was unable to meet with any patients and help them and their families through their hospice journeys. However, all that I have learned going through the training process has led me to think differently about the medical field and my values as a future member … Continue reading “Finding a Cure”

The Importance of Trust

Throughout my time as a hospice volunteer, I have realized that end of life care is a lot more than providing comfort and assistance to a patient in their final stage of life. There are a lot of emotions involved and it is important to understand what the patient wants out of their hospice experience. … Continue reading “The Importance of Trust”

Healthcare for the Dying

Having experienced the quality of care provided to relatives in my personal life who had benefitted from hospice care, I was pushed  in the initial direction of becoming a volunteer just to give back to an organization that had given so much to the people in my life in their various conditions of dying. Since … Continue reading “Healthcare for the Dying”

Why We Do This

Though I was unable to visit hospice patients this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, I feel that I have grown exponentially as a person and a future health care professional. I thought that I understood death when I applied to the Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program, but suddenly the world is … Continue reading “Why We Do This”