Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My experience with hospice. By: Angela Lammers

My summer 2012 internship at Hospice of Southern Illinois was an experience I would never change for anything. On my first day, I went through orientation where I learned about Hospice of Southern Illinois and the goal they strive to reach each day. I found out that there are many aspects to keep a business running and how every little thing is critiqued until everyone is satisfied. Each day at Hospice of Southern Illinois was different, which I really enjoyed. I never knew what to expect, but was always ready for a challenge. My main focus each day was to reach out to individual businesses and get the word out about Relais Bonne Eau, Hospice of Southern Illinois' Hospice Home. It was also my responsibility each day to make sure I was able to complete my tasks given, which varied. 
I found that what benefited me the most as an intern at Hospice of Southern Illinois was each day I had to be prepared for something different and be able to take on any challenges that may occur.  Through this experience, the thing I liked best about it was broadening my knowledge about marketing and being able to get firsthand experience, rather than just reading and learning about it in a classroom.  I enjoyed my time at Relais Bonne Eau and would be willing to come back if they ever needed any extra help.  Hospice of Southern Illinois is a great place to work and I feel honored to be able to put a business like this on my resume.
-Angela Lammers

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My experience with hospice. By: Zoe Sikes

When I started my internship at Hospice of Southern Illinois, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew that I would be in the Community Education department, working with the marketing and advertising aspects of the company, but beyond that, I really didn’t know that much about hospice.  Every single day was a learning experience and every day was something new.  The Community Education department of Hospice of Southern Illinois does exactly what it says—educates the community about hospice.  Before my fellow intern, Angela, or I could educate the community, we first had to learn exactly what hospice was and what it is that Hospice of Southern Illinois does differently.  Our first couple of weeks, we shadowed our mentor Candice as she showed us what she does on a daily basis.  She taught us how to market a not-for-profit organization, build business relationships, and educate the community.  Eventually, Angela and I were able to go out in the community ourselves to teach people about Relais Bonne Eau, Your Community Hospice Home in Edwardsville, where Angela and I spent most of our time.
While the focus of the internship was with community education and marketing, we learned much more than just that.  What I loved so much about this experience was that they really wanted this to be a learning experience for us.  To do this, they exposed us to so much more than just hospice or marketing.  We were given the opportunity to shadow Christine, who works with the print and social media aspect of the organization.  Candice set up meetings for us with local business people to learn about what they do. We were even allowed to join in at Chamber of Commerce luncheons, something I would have never known about.  They wanted us to get as much as we could out of our time here. 
My experience working with Hospice of Southern Illinois has been nothing short of great.  They went above and beyond to give us knowledge that we can take with us far beyond this summer.  I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to learn and to grow.   
-Zoe Sikes

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I would like to start off wishing you all a wonderful and worry free Independence Day (tomorrow). We all enjoy this day for obvious reasons a day off of work, delicious food with family and friends, and hopefully a dry day to enjoy festivities and fireworks, but what I think we take for granted sometimes is what independence day is all about. I know you have heard this story 100 times, but I may have some different insight because this story is about our staff and their patients and families, so please keep reading. You may get some perspective that can give you a new found freedom!
It is nice to go back in time and remember what makes this day in history so important to us. This takes us back to the 18th century during the American Revolution, a political battle when the 13 colonies were fighting for their independence from Great Britain.  Finally on the 4th of July, the declaration was signed that we were freed from Great Britain and could govern our country as we wished to do. Now that does not mean there were not struggles after our declaration on the 4th of July. As we all know there were many along the way, but it lifted weights and started movements that made our country the great place to live that it is today.  
Now let’s fast forward to 2012. We live in a place where we can have days off of work, enjoy any food we like and watch fireworks in the distance (sometimes even up close!), but consider those who maybe are living in a country of freedom, but feel trapped. In hospice care, patients and families are struggling just as our forefathers did in the battle for our independence. They are struggling to relieve pain, be spiritually and emotionally at ease and have the best quality of life that they can. Do you see any history repeating itself here? This may seem like a stretch, but really when you evaluate the situation, patients and families may even get all of these controlled and still encounter unknowns and struggles.
The point I am trying to make is that with all that we encounter and with everything we do to fight for our freedom, it can’t be done alone and should not be taken for granted. Hospice is a special option which is here for patients and families everywhere to do just what John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did for our county, create a safe haven to help ensure freedom: a pain free-at ease-good quality of life for all. Please keep in mind as you enjoy your 4th of July (and all your other days of freedom) that everyone may not be feeling free. They may not get a day off like many of my fellow co-workers, not have family and friends to celebrate with or a place to enjoy the celebration. So when someone like this (or anyone) walks into your life, even for a second or forever, remember people in every profession and in every situation can take time to help someone feel some ounce of freedom, because as John Foppe’s described it “Help us help others, and you’ll help yourself. It goes full circle.” Be an advocate for freedom, because you and everyone around you deserve it!
Photo: Our intake nurse, Bobbie, handles all inquiries with our program to ensure each patient and family is talked to with respect, dignity and compassion and she connects them with the appropriate care team. She is ready for 4th of July! Anyone else? (Check out those red shoes, white jeans and blue top- not to mention her jewelry!)Independence Day Fun Fact: “In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of teh United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.” (Wikipedia, 2012)
{Our intake nurse, Bobbie, handles all inquiries with our program to ensure each patient and family is talked to with respect, dignity and compassion and she connects them with the appropriate care team. She is ready for 4th of July! Anyone else? (Check out those red TOMS shoes, white jeans and blue top- not to mention her jewelry!)}

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education