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Blog: Stories and Insight

Hospice Quotes from the Samaritan Care Team

The family members of hospice patients always tell us that hospice care is a gift to their entire family, not just their seriously ill loved one.  Caregivers emphasize that the expert care they receive for their hospice team is critical to seamlessly caring for their spouse, sibling, or neighbor, and that the professional advice and support is priceless.

But, how do these hospice team members feel about their jobs?

We asked our staff members two questions:

Why do you enjoy working in hospice?
What do you find rewarding about your work?

The following are hospice quotes from nurses, social workers, spiritual support counselors, and certified home health aides about the care they provide to seriously ill patients and their families.

Building Relationships, Honoring Legacies

For many hospice team members, building relationships and connecting spiritually and emotionally with patients and their families during this difficult time is professionally and personally rewarding.

Carol Conrad, LCSW, says, “I treasure the relationships made with patients and families, and the gift they give me by allowing me to be in their lives at such a difficult time.” Carol has worked at Samaritan as a social worker for more than 12 years.

Chaplain Betty Warner, BCC, BCCC, CFHPC: “In my work as a hospice chaplain, I am privileged to relate to clock-time and heart-time in special ways. I sense that daily—perhaps hourly– I am invited to “touch eternity” and to open the eyes, ears, and minds of persons experiencing life-limiting illness and their loved ones to some very Big Ideas—of Presence, Time, Love, Legacy.”  Betty has been a spiritual support counselor at Samaritan for more than 13 years.

Rabbi Richard Simon, SSC adds, “I always feel strange when I tell people I love my work with hospice. How can you love such difficult work? But working for hospice is both an awesome responsibility and a great honor. We get to meet with patients and family at their most vulnerable and serious times — facing the end of life and what the future may hold for those still here.

For me, as a life-long student of humanity and existence, it affords an opportunity to examine my own inner workings and relationships with others. It affords an opportunity to practice open heartedness and caring in the face of sadness and loss.

In Jewish tradition, providing support for the dying is considered one of the most selfless of deeds, for they cannot give you anything in return. Also, we are encouraged to witness as a person passes from this life to the next, to reflect in awe at this change of being. I am fortunate to work with people who share a true concern for the living and the dying, who make the care and comfort of others the prime issue.”  Richard has been a spiritual support counselor at Samaritan for two years.

Collaborating with Experts

As the hospice quotes below demonstrate, for some hospice staff, collaborating with their colleagues to provide the best possible care is a satisfying part of their job.

Dr. Whitney Huston, says, “I have the wonderful experience of working with the most amazing nurses, social workers, home health aides, and chaplains.  I love working in the inpatient hospice unit because we have a team that is constantly collaborating, working, and teaching each other to provide as much support and comfort as we can for the patient and their families.  I love being able to discuss the medical and social issues with the team.  I value the shared opinions and expertise, and truly feel that our staff is composed of exceptional people.”  Whitney has worked at Samaritan as a hospice and palliative physician for more than four years.

Richard adds . . . . “I am fortunate to work with people who share a true concern for the living and the dying, who make the care and comfort of others the prime issue. And knowing that I have an entire “team” behind me makes this vital work more meaningful and effective.”

Lynn Luisi, CHHA, certified home health aide says, “: …and working with an awesome team of people makes it so easy. Lynn has been a certified home health aide at Samaritan for more than 12 years.

Making a Difference

Hospice employees also enjoy their work because they know they are making a difference in the lives of families living in their community.

Tomasz Jaworski, CHHA, answers “There is true meaning in making a difference for someone during their last stages in life. The thank yous I get from families after care is done are as sincere as you’ll ever get from anything else. You appreciate your life more every time you wake up in the morning knowing someone out there is looking forward to your visit.” Tomasz has worked at Samaritan as a certified home health aide for more than six years.

Lynn adds, “I wake up each day knowing I make a difference in so many people’s lives . . . I not only have a job/career, I have a higher purpose in life and I’m truly grateful. I’m part of a bigger picture in life now.

Sara Miller, MSW, LSW: “Working in hospice every day is a gift.  I have the opportunity to touch — and be touched — by patients and families at one of the most delicate times in their lives. I listen to their fears, support their decisions, and learn who they are. I advocate and help them to feel heard in a community that we sometimes don’t understand or feel heard in. I can be an ear to bounce things off of, a catalyst for uncomfortable conversations, and a gift when patients and families don’t know where to turn next. The reward is all of this, plus I am always appreciated and respected by those clients I interact with.” Sara has been a social worker at Samaritan for more than 14 years.

Honoring Your Loved Ones

Many hospice team members were touched by a hospice experience earlier in their lives and decided to explore the field of end-of-life care. It’s their way of giving back after receiving exceptional comfort care for their loved one as some of the hospice care quotes below beautifully express.

Luz Pratt, CHHA, says, “My reason for working at Samaritan is that my great grandfather asked me to honor his memory by doing so. Every time I care for one of our patients I feel that I’m doing exactly that. His memory keeps me focused on always putting myself in our patients and families shoes so that I can give them the comfort and understanding that they need in such a vulnerable time of their lives.”  Luz has worked at Samaritan as a certified home health aide for more than nine years.

Karen Pericles, LMT: “In 1995, my mother died on hospice in Michigan.  In 2001, I became a massage therapist and had been operating my own massage business for four years when I saw an employment ad for Samaritan. I told my husband, Gerry, that I wanted to apply. He thought I was crazy. He didn’t understand who would want to work with people who were dying.  I knew how wonderful hospice had been to my parents a decade earlier, so I had to apply.  I got the job!

In 2007, we found out that my husband had lung cancer, and shortly thereafter, that it had spread to his brain. He was able to receive the comfort care hospice provides patients and families. I always think God chose Samaritan for me.” Karen has worked at Samaritan as a massage therapist for more than 13 years.

Colleen Fritsch, MSW, LCSW says “. . . My immediate thought was ‘No, not hospice’, but then something I had forgotten came back to me. When I was a second year MSW student in 1989, my social work field instructor said to me ‘You know what you’re going to do someday? You’re going to be a hospice social worker’. I laughed at the time and said, ‘No, I’m going to work with teen age girls for my whole career’ — that lasted five years.

In preparing for the interview {at Samaritan}, I recalled that at age 15, my grandmother had died in a hospice unit, and I had been there when she died and how peaceful it was. When I met with {the social work manager}, I knew immediately that this position was for me! Colleen has worked at Samaritan as a social worker for more than six years.”

To learn more about hospice nurse quotes, as well as our hospice services, please call (800) 229-8183 or fill out this online form.