Dr. Rafael Rodriquez, the founder of Aurora House Foundation, is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is a strong advocate for education specific to palliative and end of life care for all individuals who are involved in hospice care. Hospice and Palliative Care is now being taught in nursing schools. As an adjuvant to what is being taught in the classroom, Dr. Rodriguez provides students with didactic learning, and Aurora House Center for Palliative Care provides students with clinical learning.
Dr. Rodriguez shares with students the history of hospice, and challenges faced at the end of life that medical providers must learn to manage. He reinforces what the students learn in the classroom touching on topics such as the four components of pain managed with palliative care at the end of life, psychosocial pain, spiritual pain, social pain, and physical pain. At Aurora House, the students complete their clinical hospice rotation with hands on patient care.
Students of palliative and hospice care must learn that patients should experience respect, dignity, and quality of life – throughout the end of their life, and that hospice care is not just for the patient but for their family as well. It is our hope that nursing students will come to understand that no matter what field of nursing they pursue, they will encounter patients who will benefit from palliative and/or hospice care, and will be able to apply the skills they have learned through the Aurora House Center for Palliative Care.