Why ‘Hospice Aide’ Was the Perfect Job for Me

In honor of National Nursing Assistants Week, we want to recognize our nursing staff and hospice aides for their hard work and dedication. Below is a reflection on life as a hospice aide.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

As a kid, I’d read these words by Dr. Seuss and dream of all the fabulous things I could do when I grew up. Not only could I be anything, but I could go anywhere! Oh, the possibilities and choices were endless! What will I be? A plumber? A dog catcher? A manicurist? A gymnast? A chef?

Scouring the help wanted page I’d search for that one perfect job for one perfect me. I wanted it all and it was impossible to choose.

“Be a hospice aide,” they said.
“It’ll be rewarding,” they said.
“It’s perfect for your big heart,” they said.
“You look awesome in green scrubs!” they said.

But what about my dreams? Do I have to give up being a plumber, dog catcher, manicurist, gymnast and chef? No, not at all.

Within my first year as a hospice aide, I soon experienced everything I’d ever dreamed. Sure, I had the joy of caring for those most in need. Sure, I went home every day knowing I made a difference.

But I also learned to unclog a toilet stuffed too full of wipes. Check off plumber.

I chased dogs down the street, through the house and off beds. Check off dog catcher.

I polished and cleaned finger nails and toe nails. Check off manicurist.

With permission, I scaled fences and climbed through windows when a key couldn’t be found. Check off gymnast.

I served cereal, eggs, ice cream and macaroni and cheese. Check off chef.

But mostly, I cared. I cared for those unable to care for themselves. I cleaned the places they could no longer clean themselves. I cut their hair, shaved their faces and lotioned their skin.

I cared.

And along the way, I was humbled to be anointed their angel.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

(l – r) Pam Scott, hospice aide; Gabriele Gordon, hospice aide; Gina Norton, hospice clinical manager; and Kim Butler, hospice aide.

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