This singular work offers a truly interdisciplinary team perspective on caring, presented by 21 veterans of hospice service representing the array of disciplines in effective teams-physicians, nurses, certified nurse assistants, social workers, chaplains, music therapists, bereavement counselors, a volunteer coordinator, and a volunteer of more than 26 years. Contributors share professional and personal experiences that encompass the medical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of dying and bereavement. These are brought together through a person-centered approach that champions knowing each person being cared for to create the necessary opportunity for communication and trust that are the hallmarks of high-quality hospice care.
Many people prefer not to know about hospices, associating them with decline and death. How foolish! Partly because we all have to come to terms with the end of life, be it of loved ones or our own... and partly because this book shows that hospices are also places of optimism and comfort, where individuals find peace and family relationships are restored. The essays reveal the remarkable energy that goes into making hospices so caring - from professional nurses to volunteer visitors to music therapists. I have learnt more from reading them than I have in 38 years of being a congregational minister. This book is essential for all who care about life and death." - Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, Maidenhead Synagogue, Berks, UK "I have spent forty years in medical centers, but it was only after reading these essays that I came to fully appreciate what hospice brings to humanity. This is a great and needed addition to the medical and social literature." - Lowell M. Greenbaum, Ph.D., Medical College of Georgia, Emeritus, Dean of Graduate Studies, and VP for Research