The lady in room 441

I can say undoubtedly that this experience has changed my life. Speaking with full disclosure, my first day at the unit I was shell-shocked. Most of the patients were non-responsive, the atmosphere was silent with only a few moans due to the pain of being moved. In most hospitals, volunteers talk with patients and walk them … Continue reading “The lady in room 441”

Hospice Reflection

I was pretty nervous when I started volunteering in hospice care. Looking back, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. I thought it wouldn’t be much different from my previous volunteer experiences in the ER and ICU, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. On one of my first nights as a volunteer, … Continue reading “Hospice Reflection”

An Unexpected Interaction

This program affected me more than I could have ever expected when I first applied. I remember being really anxious about if the nurses would be mean, fitting it into my schedule, and mostly about being around patients on the verge of death, as I had never seen a dead body before. I was unsure of how … Continue reading “An Unexpected Interaction”

Hospice Volunteering Reflection

Beginning from the first meeting for our Hospice volunteering group, I knew this experience would be different than any other I had had in my undergraduate years. What stuck with me was the message of treating the whole person in Hospice, meaning not only the physical aspects of health, but the spiritual too. This idea … Continue reading “Hospice Volunteering Reflection”

A Unique and Life Lesson Providing Experience

I have volunteered in hospitals in the past, completing tasks such as making beds, moving patients around in wheelchairs, and running blood samples to the lab across the hospital. My experience in the hospice unit this year has been different than this, in the best way possible. Instead of sitting and waiting for a task … Continue reading “A Unique and Life Lesson Providing Experience”

The Small Gesture

I never wore bright colors to the hospice. Red and white polos remained in my closet while black and grey came out. Wearing vibrant and seemingly happy colors in a somber space was disrespectful of the difficult end of life issues that patients and their families were making. Instead of asking if it was appropriate, … Continue reading “The Small Gesture”

Only a Moment

First off, I should start by saying that I have no experience with death other than at the Forbes Hospice. So my first experience with it came as a realization, a reality check about what it means to end. A winter storm had coated the Pittsburgh area with a large blanket of snow, and the … Continue reading “Only a Moment”

How I was Changed through Hospice

One of my most memorable experiences during the course of this program was interacting with the son and daughter of an elderly woman on the unit. The woman was no longer verbal and was barely responsive to the nursing staff. She was, however, as illustrated by her children, to be very responsive to them and other … Continue reading “How I was Changed through Hospice”

Skill and Empathy

When I walked in on the first day, I was ecstatic when the nurses and aides instantly knew that I was a volunteer and were ready to train me. In many of my previous volunteer positions, I showed up the staff had no idea what to do with me. They simply said “go get some” … Continue reading “Skill and Empathy”

Forbes Hospice Reflection Essay

I would like to begin my reflection essay by stating how much of an amazing experience this past year has been. It has been a rewarding time in my life where I was able to aid people at there most vulnerable times. Not to mention, help their families through a loss of a loved one. … Continue reading “Forbes Hospice Reflection Essay”