Hospice Care and the Student Body
The hospice student body consists of caring and compassionate people who are often responding to a calling, viewing what they are doing as a vocation beyond a job or career. Hospice students know that life review and celebration takes place amidst the gradual realization that a loved one is dying and hospice care is not about dying, as much as it is about living fully until we die. It is about connection and healing in relationships and helping one another to live a meaningful and purpose-driven life. Faculty and students recognize that it is a privilege to be part of a hospice team, in service to patients and their families as they discover opportunities in relationships at the end of a life. Madonna University continues to provide this sacred teaching and learning environment where discussion about end of life care is supported and fully embraced.
Hospice faculty is passionate about assisting students to achieve their educational, professional and personal goals, facilitating a learning environment where students bring unique life experiences that enhance classroom discussion among like-minded classmates. Students find validation and support among cohorts who have all been asked, “Why do you want to study hospice? Isn’t that depressing?” Indeed, hospice work can be sad at times, but it is not depressing. It is life-giving and profoundly rewarding both personally and professionally. Students often discover along the way that what they are doing in the role of service to families provides far greater rewards than what they could have ever imagined. “We begin by imagining that we are giving to them; we end by realizing that they have enriched us” (Pope John Paul, II).
The course of study then, for the hospice student body, often becomes a spiritual quest and an individual, personal journey with the aim of discovering the transcendent in everyday life and in all human relations. Students translate their classroom experiences in the real world with the hope of making hospice a household word where patients and families are aware of options at end-of-life that come from informed health care professionals.