Being a hospice professional is something to be proud of. We work in an industry that you won’t find at a job fair or on the news. If you chose to work for a hospice because of the glory or the fame, then unfortunately you chose the wrong career. Working in hospice comes with many questions and reactions from the common person.


“When I grow up, I want to work in the hospice industry.” -said no 5-year-old ever.


We thought it would be fun to point out the 5 most common reactions we receive when we tell people we work in the hospice industry!





Please enjoy the made up hospice names used in these scenarios.


The “No Idea What a Hospice is” Reaction

Person: So where do you work?

Hospice Professional: I work for Clear Sky Hospice.

Person: What's a hospice???


This “No idea what a hospice is” person is a real gem. This reaction is the perfect opportunity to blow a person’s mind and open their eyes to the kind of person you are (The kind of person who is completely selfless and cares for others every day). As you are explaining, the blank stare of the person you are explaining hospice to is a sure sign that they still have no idea what you do on a day to day basis. The “no idea what a hospice is” person is out there and next time you encounter one, be sure to have your soapbox ready. PREACH!



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The “How Do You Get Through the Day” Reaction

Person: So what do you do?

Hospice Professional: I work for Moose Tail Hospice.

Person: OMG! I don’t know how you do it! I cannot imagine caring for dying patients. I just would be so depressed all the time!


The “how do you get through the day” reaction is a fairly common response. Working in hospice is not for everyone. It takes a strong will and a tender heart to care for a dying patient and their families. The “how do you get through the day” person is unable to wrap their mind around the fact that this is something you are called to do. Yes, some days are difficult, but overall, what you do as a hospice professional is special and you know that. Next time you encounter the “how do you get through the day” person, tell them that it takes a special person to work in hospice. They will definitely agree.


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The “I Would Never Choose Hospice” Reaction

Person: Where do you work at?

Hospice Professional: I work at Over The Rainbow Hospice.

Person: Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would every willingly choose to die rather than seek treatment. It is a completely selfish decision and it isn’t fair to the family.


The “I would never choose hospice” reaction is sure to get the blood boiling as a hospice professional. Our initial reaction is to back-hand the person across the face and hope we knock some sense into them. Lucky for this person, hospice professionals are kind-hearted and understanding individuals who value the opinions of others (including idiots who don’t know what they are talking about). If you receive the “I would never choose hospice” reaction, seize this reaction as an opportunity to shine light on what hospice actually is. Educate the person on why people would choose hospice rather than acute care. Be the bigger person and do your best to convert this person into a believer and supporter of the incredible care the hospices provide.


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The “Oh That’s Cool” Reaction

Person: So tell me again what is that you do?

Hospice Professional: I work at Butterfly Cocoon Hospice.

Person: Oh that’s cool.


When Person number 4 says “Oh that’s cool”, what they really mean to say is “I have absolutely no idea what a hospice is and I have too much pride to admit to you that I don’t so I am choosing to smile and nod and hope we move the conversation elsewhere”. If you encounter the “oh that’s cool” reaction, you might as well move the conversation along to another topic because this person has no idea what you do and they don’t want you to know that. If you want to put this person on the spot, ask them what their opinion of hospice is. Prepare yourself for an awkward moment.


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The “Tell Me Everything and Leave Out No Details” Reaction  (A.K.A The “Fascination” Reaction)


Person: Where do you work?

Hospice Professional: I work at Pinnacle Point Hospice.

Person: How do you like it? What is it like with the families? Do you grow attached to the patients you care for? How long have you been working there? Did you always know you wanted to work in Hospice? (The questions go on and on)


The “Fascination” Reaction is one of the best ones to hope for when telling someone you work in Hospice. There is something great about talking to someone that genuinely wants to hear about what you do for a living. If you encounter a “fascination” reaction, be sure to stop for a moment and take it in. Look around. Log it to memory so you can remember how it feels. These types of reactions don’t come around often so when it does, consider yourself lucky!


If you have ever received a unique reaction to telling someone you work in hospice, please comment below what the reaction was!