That is the definition I found in the Merriam Webster Dictionary.
In fact, most of the definitions were very much the same, yet as I have completed my 3rd week in Hospice Training, I find it to be so much more than that.
At the Hospital that I am training with, it consist of a team that focus is caring beyond curing.
The team consist of:
- Nurse / Care Manager
- Social Worker
- Spiritual Care Coordinator
- Hospice Aide
I have learned so much not only about Hospice, Patients, Caretakers, Family dynamics, and Death & Dying process, but about my own dynamics and my own spirituality.
This isn't for everyone.
You have to be compassionate yet genuine. You have to know how to treat one with respect not pity. Dignity not condescending.
How I see it, is, these patients are at the end of life...We will all die one day. No getting around that. However, we may not all know when our time is near. We may not experience daily pain and suffering. Worry over loved ones, financial situations, and the hereafter. If we are lucky, we will live a grand life and peacefully die. But, that isn't the way it is for everyone. Some are faced with long grueling exhausting diseases that deplete us. Some have a shorter illness but knowing their time is short, well, I can't imagine as I have never been in this situation.
And there is the families. The friends. The feeling of uselessness as they can not protect or "save" their loved ones. The how can I make it better...What can I do for you... The anguish of failure that I can't "fix" you.
My role as a volunteer will be one of many hats. I am here not only to assist patients but to assist families. To relieve. To give an extra hand. To give some valuable time.
I may be needed to sit with a patient. To read. To talk. To laugh.
I may be needed to clean. To cook. To help with household chores.
I will be a chameleon. I will be what they need me to be.