Hospice is not so much about dying as living.  It is about the quality of the final days of life for the patient and his or her family.  I am a volunteer at Hospice of the East Bay for many reasons.  I feel that each of us as a participant in our communities owes a duty of service to that community.

I also feel that it is one branch of healthcare that bridges the fields of conventional medicine with holistic concepts of patient centric care.   Above all the patient is a person.  It is a concept that I fully support in more than just words.  It is an attitude that medicine is only a part of of what a person needs.   I have found that this is an environment of care, cooperation and compassion.  I believe that being a non-profit organization establishes an attitude of patient orientation that I have not found in most for profit organizations.   It is volunteers like me who help provide services that are not practical with profit based organizations.

I believe that hospice is an excellent ground to build a model of care for everyone.  Once the medical community gives up on a patient the factors of ego and territory are gone and care can shift to what is best for the patient regardless of outcomes.   Ironically I believe that outcomes actually improve when we stop trying to just fix people can can open up to serving them and their families.  It is quality healthcare at its best.

My skills are very well suited to complementing the care given to hospice patients.   My ability to help with pain and range of motion are especially suited.    The fact that I do subtle work is especially suited to the elderly and infirm.  I am also able to work without tables, draping or special equipment is also important although I have found that hot stone therapy is often a useful adjunct if the patients and conditions allow it. 

Serving is as much for yourself as the persons you help.  

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