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How working in end-of-life care has changed people’s perspective on death and dying




Good hospice care at the end of life can be a godsend to patients and their families, all agree, whether the care comes at home, or at an inpatient facility like this AIDS hospice. Still, oversight of the industry is important, federal investigators say.
Good hospice care at the end of life can be a godsend to patients and their families, all agree, whether the care comes at home, or at an inpatient facility like this AIDS hospice. Still, oversight of the industry is important, federal investigators say.
Bromberger Hoover Photography/Getty Images

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Many of us are uncomfortable with the realities of death and are unsure of how to behave when we encounter it up close for the first time.

But for professionals who work in palliative care, death is a recurring part of life. And for those trained in helping people and families through these difficult situations, the work can be fulfilling and meaningful.

Today on AirTalk, we sit down with hospice workers to discuss how their experiences have changed their views on death and dying.

If you are a hospice worker, how has your profession changed your perspective on death? What commonalities have you observed? And how do you keep yourself from being drained by your work?

Guests:

Karin Clemente, R.N., nurse case manager with Mission Hospice and Home Care in San Mateo

Sunita Puri, MD, physician, assistant professor of clinical medicine and medical director for palliative care at the Keck Medical Center of USC; she previously served as a hospice physician in South Los Angeles; her upcoming autobiographical book “That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour” (Penguin Random House, 2019) dives into some of her experiences providing end-of-life care