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Volunteering in a Hospice

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amherstguy

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Is volunteering in a hospice a better idea than volunteering in a hospital or nursing home? What is it like and what do they make volunteers do?
 

none

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I would think not. You want to be a physician, right? Well, physicians probably won't be nearly as involved in a hospice situation as they would be in a formal hospital setting.

If you're looking for a place to volunteer, consider VA hospitals. They will provide you an amazing volunteer experience and let you do considerably more than a private hospital would. Here's a link to the ones in New York state:

http://www.va.gov/sta/guide/state.asp?divisionid=1&STATE=NY
 

agent

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hospice can be difficult and frustrating. if you were going into nursing i might recommend it otherwise no.
 

BushBaby

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You can volunteer anywhere I don't think a hospital/hospice gives you a better edge as far as EC's are concerned.

As long as you volunteer somwhere where you feel you can learn something valuable and still be able to offer some type of help or support to people.
There is an hospice in brooklyn that I might call up to volunteer if I don't get into school this year. I forgot their name but you can always call their volunteer offices up to inquire about the volunteer job description. I am sure it's nothing more than they would have you do at the hospital (read/talk to/feed patients).
 

lola

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I agree with Bush Baby. If volunteering at a hospice is what you want to do, go for it! You may not get a ton of exposure to medicine but you will get some and also will get a lot of patient contact I'd imagine. I don't really think anyone can say volunteering in A is better than in B. Each will be its own unique experience, and you won't really know what you'll get out of them until you do them.
 

isidella

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I have volunteered on a med-onc hospital ward and for hospice. I think they are equally difficult and rewarding in their own ways. There is alot of hope on med-onc, and deep devestation when treatment fails. Hospice is about dying with dignity-the most difficult moments I have had volunteering with hospice is when a family will accept hospice help for financial reasons, yet be completely in denial about the fact that death is imminent, even up to the moment of death.

Learn about the philosophy of hospice and see if you think you can deal with it. Volunteering with hospice changed my life and also helped me to better accept my mothers passing. Being a volunteer and holding the hands of many people as they have passed away has answered many questions about myself and especially my dedication to medicine. I know that I will be a better doctor because of these experiences.

As for what hospice volunteers do, my experience is that you serve primarily as a companion or as a helper. You may run errands, cook meals, or just sit beside the person who is passing (talk, play games, sing songs-whatever makes passing more comfortable for the person.) Usually family members or nurses do the bathing and cleaning, etc. You may also assist the family in many ways; dying is usually more difficult for those who are being left behind.

PM me if you want to talk about this some more. Isid
 
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