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I was driving the other day and my son asked me from the back seat, “How long do I have to go to college to become a monster truck driver?” It reminded me that as children we all have dreams of who we want to become one day. We dream about the lives we are going to live and the jobs we are going to do. For as long as I can remember I knew that I wanted to be in some kind of a “helping position.” I dreamt of being a school counselor, a teacher and a social worker. I’ve always had a servant’s heart. However, I never dreamt about working in Hospice. But…here I am.
The position I have in Hospice is a unique role. I spend most of my day educating individuals, physicians and the community on the benefits of Hospice services and the unique benefits of the company that I work for. I would love to say that I am the “hero” in the lives of others or that I make a difference in the lives of others everyday by what I do for a living. I don’t. It would be more accurate to say that I do not make a difference in the lives of others in the way that I dreamt about when I was a little girl. However, because of the education I provide to individuals and our community, the employees at Treasure Valley Hospice are able to make a real impact on the lives of others. Our staff is able to strengthen families, honor wishes, offer choices, ease suffering and support grieving. This brings me joy.
With most jobs, there are things that you love, things that you dislike and things that you feel like you can’t change. Hospice is no different. I love that Hospice strengthens families through the services we provide. It frustrates me that failing health, terminal illnesses, Hospice services and death in general are difficult conversations to initiate in our culture. It is discouraging that there are so many myths surrounding the Hospice profession. I am disappointed that so often we begin making a difference in lives of others in the last thirty days of an individual’s life when we could be making a difference for so much longer. I often wish that it was simpler for a physician or a Hospice provider to have straightforward conversations with individuals and their families about end of life care and hospice services. Despite what may sound like complete ranting, I cannot imagine a segment of the healthcare field that could be more fulfilling.
I doubt that my son one day provides for his family by earning a wage as a monster truck driver. As a mom, however, I love hearing him talk about his dream job. Realistically, I understand that no matter how he earns a living, his career will be filled with both joy and frustration. That is life. I am so thankful that God provided me with a career that satisfies my desire to serve others. My sincere hope is that after you read this, if you have questions about caring for a loved one that has failing health, you will call me (208) HOS-
PICE. I will answer your questions frankly and sincerely. I will have open conversations with you about the myths of Hospice. My servant’s heart would like to help sooner than later.