Well today was exciting…so far. This morning was volunteer hospice training. Suncoast Hospice is pretty big in Pinellas County. They serve 69% of the dying population in the county, 1800 patients and family each day and have over 3000 volunteers. Interesting statistics. The orientation class today had at least 20 of us in there. From college students to retirees. If I wanted to just do office work I would be done with training and I could start answering phones or other work non-patient related. However, since I want to work with patients I will go for four more weeks and maybe even more training after that depending on what I choose in the long run.

There are so many choices. Backing up a bit, when I went to Carlow I had all those theology courses (my minor) and somehow ended up focusing on death and dying courses in my psychology track and so combined the two and did spiritual hospice care for my internship. I never have used my college degree in practice, so to speak, so how exciting could it be to possibly get back into spiritual hospice care? And get this, Suncoast hospice also has a pediatric care team. So I could possibly combine my baby-care (Children’s hospital) training with the hospice training. Or:

  • Caregiver relief/respite sitting
  • Companionship
  • Transitions companion vigil
  • Or even Palliative arts (pet therapy, energy work, music, etc.)

Our trainer said both the pediatric team and the spiritual care team are very selective and require a lot more training and hoops. I like a nice hoop so I will probably try to do whatever is the hardest to get into just because of the challenge.

But for now I will just get through the next four weeks and THEN I will discuss what to do next. She advised that we plant the seed and see where we end up. I like that “seed planting” analogy. I had a professor at Carlow who called herself the “seed scatterer” and actually I gave Jimmy that advice just yesterday. Told him to pick a future scenario and just sit with it and see how he feels going forward. I did that with Phil and this move. Found out about the move with him in March, came down for a week in April and looked at houses, and then just sat with it until I got the “we have a house” call in May.   At no time did I NOT want to make this move.

So we will see where I end up in the hospice thing. I need more information obviously. I really just like to sit with the patients and let them talk, or just sit there to sit there. When I did my spiritual care during my internship my only real experience was a patient (young – like 40) talking about her fear of dying. Is that spiritual? Or is it just talking? She was scared to death to go on and helping her find that peace was very rewarding for both of us. She never came back to haunt me so I assume she’s ok. But I don’t know if that needs the “spiritual” reference or just companionship? Those are the things I need to work out. Babies leaving this world would be heartbreaking to be with the families but I think very peaceful to be with the babies.

In my point of view, dying is just another life transition so being able to help anyone with that transition is a pretty cool thing to do. I’d probably not be so great with the survivors (although I live with a few of them now) but I do like the patients. So I’m pretty excited to continue with this. We shall all see where I end up.

On another note, Jimmy booked his trip here February 27!! I’m SUPER excited!! I hope it’s a warm weekend.

And now I have to go get the girl.

Have a nice weekend!!


2 Thoughts on “Using that degree…

  1. Ellen Morton on February 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm said:

    I predict this hospice seed will grow quite well for you!

  2. Debbie Monahan on February 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm said:

    I think you would be great at hospice. It takes a special person do this and I think you meet those requirements.

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