My Experience in Hospice

My experience in the hospice program has been something that will stay with me throughout my career and throughout my life. I have had experience with death in my life, but never to this extent. I have had friends pass from drug overdoses and loved ones die peacefully in their sleep, but never within this … Continue reading “My Experience in Hospice”

Be here, while I am here

What is death? What does death mean? Those were both things that before Hospice I had never truly reflected on or wanted to reflect on. But this year when I saw the open volunteer position I decided it was something that I wanted to explore. I wanted to to explore this other aspect of life; … Continue reading “Be here, while I am here”

Live in the Moment

Live in the Moment Live in the moment and really appreciate what I have are the most central feelings after volunteering in this hospice program. This experience makes me truly feel the death and dying process. At the beginning, death was only a word to me; nothing really came up to my mind when I … Continue reading “Live in the Moment”

Death as a Means to Life

“I have come to know that it [death] is an important thing to keep in mind — not to complain or to make melancholy, but simply because only with the honest knowledge that one day I will die I can ever truly begin to live.” —R.A. Salvatore, The Halfling’s Gem As I prepared myself to … Continue reading “Death as a Means to Life”

The Place Between Life and Death

Hospice. A place where people who deserve more than they are given go to temporarily live and permanently perish. This is what I thought hospice was before I came to the VA. A place with dejected patients, pessimistic nurses, families on the verge of collapse. And on top of that, this was a VA, a … Continue reading “The Place Between Life and Death”

An Unexpected Friend

One of my most meaningful hospice relationships formed about halfway through my experience as a volunteer this past year. It was a pretty slow day so I was helping with random office work behind the front desk during the first half of my shift. As I was doing office work with one of the other … Continue reading “An Unexpected Friend”

A Holistic Approach to Patient Care

In the beginning, the idea of visiting a hospice was exciting yet incomprehensible to me. As an individual who has never experienced a significant loss of a loved one, I have never been placed in a situation where an impending death was constantly on the radar. Hence, when I was accepted into the Pre-Med Hospice … Continue reading “A Holistic Approach to Patient Care”

First Experiences with Hospice Patient Care

Throughout my experience as a hospice volunteer for the 2016-2017 school year, I learned not only a lot about the patient care aspect to death and dying, but also the spiritual. Growing up as a devoted Christian (and currently am today), I was always taught that death was not something to fear, but rather to … Continue reading “First Experiences with Hospice Patient Care”

From country, culture to death

As an international student from China, whose first language is not English and who has never had any previous experience of how hospice works, this VA hospital program definitely is very meaningful to me. Originally, I thought hospice simply meant caring for people in hospital, just as what volunteers normally did in every hospital. But … Continue reading “From country, culture to death”

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”