Dr. Rafael Rodriguez is a medical doctor who is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is a strong advocate for education for all individuals who are involved in hospice care. Hospice and Palliative Care is now being taught in the nursing schools. The students are required to take a course in Palliative Care. As an adjuvant to what is being taught in the classroom, Dr. Rodriguez will elaborate on hospice and palliative care. He will discuss the history of hospice and growing field that it has now become and how no one wants to talk about it. He will address the students and instruct on several topics related to hospice that include pain management; psychosocial pain, spiritual pain, social pain and physical pain. He does this with extensive knowledge as a medical director and will use many anecdotes to make a clear point of what he is teaching. He does it with humor, compassion and a true devotion to his practice. His classes prepare the student as to what to expect in hospice rotation and at the Aurora House. These classes are taught the semester before graduation, it is expected that the students will have a better perspective as to what hospice is all about. It is about comfort measures only. Nurses are taught to care and possibly cure. In hospice there is usually no cure and nurses must deal with caring for patients at the end of life. They must assure that the patients in hospice have quality of life and respect the dignity of the patient and families. They also are taught, that no matter what field they choose as nurses, they will encounter patients who will benefit from hospice care and they must be able to discuss end of life care with patients and family alike.
Students having lunch with Aurora House Staff and sharing ideas.
Students participating in a Lecture.
Juan Guerrero, Social Worker at Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, lecturing STC students.