Seasons Hospice: the importance of volunteering

Volunteering is an important aspect in the lives of many and it can be a very rewarding experience. I have always enjoyed volunteering and am constantly looking for different ways to get involved in the community. Another passion of mine is medicine, and I hope to one day be a doctor. Combining these two passions led me to the decision to volunteer with the hospice program. This experience has changed me in many ways, and I have a much different view of hospice care now.
One of my most meaningful relationships with the elderly has come through this volunteer experience.

My second patient has greatly affected the way I think about end of life care. I have learned about the importance of one’s presence and listening. She loves to talk, and simply being there for her gives her great joy. She always says how happy she is to see me, and it feels great to bring joy to my patient. I have also learned that even through sickness, the elderly are very wise and can share their wisdom to help improve the lives of others.
My volunteer experience has influenced my understanding of medicine in many ways. After seeing different patients in hospice, I have realized that finding a cure or resolving an issue is not always the answer. I have learned that medicine can work to an extent, but after it no longer treats an illness, we don’t have to give up hope. Hospice doesn’t mean life is over, it simply means that there is a limited time left to enjoy it. That is why volunteers in hospice are so important; they bring joy to those who need it and don’t have much time left. They greatly appreciate our time, and visiting them is a very rewarding experience.
This volunteer experience has certainly influenced my future career as a doctor. I loved communicating with my patients, and seeing the joy in their eyes when I visited made the experience even better. I enjoyed communicating with my patients so much that I have temporarily narrowed down what kind of doctor I would want to be. If I were to ever be a surgeon, I would only work on people when they are unconscious and would never get to communicate much with them. If I were a family doctor, however, I would get to communicate much more with my patients. I would also be able to build a relationship and familiarity with them which is something that I truly want as a doctor.

I have really enjoyed my experience volunteering in hospice, and the communication aspect was my favorite part. It would be ideal if I could have a career where I communicate directly with my patients. This experience has greatly affected me, and has given me more motivation to stay focused in school and one day become a doctor. Regardless of what lays ahead of me for the future, I can learn from this experience and become a better person with an appreciation for end of life care.