The Value of Healing

Hospice volunteering has no doubt shaped my future aspirations as a physician. I have experienced first-hand the value of emotional care at the end of life. We will not be able to physically cure every patient, but we can always provide them with comfort and support. During my volunteer experience, one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading “The Value of Healing”

Being Present

When I first saw Sue, she was wrapped up in a purple blanket, sitting in a wheelchair in front of the television. On the screen, dancers glided across a stage. I approached Sue cautiously, not wanting to disturb her. She looked so peaceful sitting there. Cozy, even. I patted her on the shoulder. “Hi Sue,” … Continue reading “Being Present”

The Importance of Fleeting Moments and Patient Interaction

When I was nearing the end of middle school, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first, I did not really comprehend what that meant. I knew symptoms of the disease and had heard of it before, but I did not foresee how it would affect me and my family. Watching my grandfather’s condition … Continue reading “The Importance of Fleeting Moments and Patient Interaction”

Hospice Care: The Beauty in End-of-Life Care

Serving as a hospice caretaker has been a very fulfilling yet complex journey for me. I initially joined Ascend Hospice because I wanted to learn how to communicate with my grandfather, who is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s. Not only have I built a deeper relationship with grandfather because of the skills I have learned through … Continue reading “Hospice Care: The Beauty in End-of-Life Care”

Learning to Deal with Loss

My time volunteering with Ascend Hospice has given me an invaluable opportunity to work on a more personal side of medicine that is difficult for premedical students to obtain. As a hospice volunteer, I have been challenged to provide comfort to patients in extremely vulnerable positions, and to understand how much grief the patient and … Continue reading “Learning to Deal with Loss”

My Hospice Experience

When I first started hospice, I ended most of my visits feeling sad. It seemed like most of my patients were unhappy and felt trapped.  They complained about how they had nothing to do, wished to go outside, or wanted better food. Frequently, the patients couldn’t even hear me, so any attempts to comfort them with … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”

A Century Old

Just last month, my patient turned 100 years old! I remember when I first met her, one of the first things she declared was, “I’m 99 years old!” Thinking about it brings a smile to my face. Now I think of her even when I’m not with her, I see her resemblance to the other … Continue reading “A Century Old”

Thoughts on Death: As They Remember Life

Occasionally, I am afforded opportunities to experience life in new and glorious ways. These experiences can either challenge me to change my conceptions or fortify my understandings of the world. Whenever I have the opportunity to do both, I am humbled and excited to grow more. This past year, I have experienced life through a … Continue reading “Thoughts on Death: As They Remember Life”

A Sunday Letter: Unexpected Things in Volunteering

Dear Chaplain, I felt most reflective when we sat in those Sunday circles and listened to each other. I am a private person, but the passage of the year and the solemnity of the other students heightened my comfort with sharing. Of course, your indefatigable positivity and openness certainly helped. For all these reasons, I … Continue reading “A Sunday Letter: Unexpected Things in Volunteering”