Hospice Is About LIFE!
By Rachelle Wheatley
The most common comment I hear when asked where I work is a variant of “You work at Hospice? You people are angels!” The comment is based on the most prevalent misconception about hospice – it’s where you go to die. Some people believe that entering a hospice care program will actually hasten death. But I have a secret…hospice isn’t about death. Hospice is all about life! Hospice of the Foothills is here to help our patients live each day to the fullest and provide the highest possible quality of life each and every day. We believe every moment matters! The key is engaging Hospice of the Foothills early. We’re here to serve patients as they approach the end of their lives, and support families and loved ones in and through the process. By increasing comfort and improving the quality of their daily lives, in many cases our patients’ life can be lengthened while receiving the compassionate care Hospice of the Foothills provides.
I have another secret! The truth about working at Hospice of the Foothills is our employees and volunteers are presented with invaluable gifts on a daily basis. For us, the typically taboo subject of death has been normalized. Acknowledging, accepting, talking about, and understanding the inevitability of our own death actually makes more room for life and receiving the lessons our work generously provides. What really matters? Who really matters? Hospice staff and volunteers are frequently faced with these questions in significant and meaningful ways. Hospice Nurse, Suzanne Koliche says, “I feel deeply honored and privileged to do this work.” Admissions Nurse, Gerry Tribble states, “One of the most rewarding aspects is hearing people’s stories. Everyone has a story they want or need to tell.” Cynthia Meilicke, Bereavement & Community Services Manager says, “Hospice work allows us to learn so much about ourselves. We’re stronger and much more resilient than we think.” Spiritual Counselor, Brad Helmuth adds, “Working in hospice has taught me to be more intentional about my life and my time. People’s lives can change so quickly or unexpectedly.”
Sure, at times hospice work can be challenging and stressful – that’s true of every job. But the work is, quite simply, some of the most rewarding and life affirming work a person can do. Our staff and patient support volunteers will tell you they receive much more than they give. Providing care, support, and comfort to patients and their families feeds the soul. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Here’s the last big secret. We’re really good people, but we’re not angels! We are a group of normal and ordinary, yet extraordinarily wonderful men and women that happen to have really cool jobs.
‘Like’ our Facebook page and join the conversation. How does your work feed your soul?