March West Oahu Hospice Hero
Posted on March 2, 2020
Growing up in Hawaii, Dale Kim always dreamed of traveling and seeing new places. At 18, he joined the U.S. Air Force, which allowed him to visit many parts of the mainland and countries overseas.
Dale eventually found his way back to the states and is now working as a weekend registered nurse out of Islands Hospice’s West Oahu office. For the past seven years, Dale has been helping with triage and patient care in homes or in Islands Hospice facilities. A typical day consists of admitting new patients, conducting visits for symptoms management and working triage at night.
Early in his career, Dale worked in the emergency room and the medical surgical ward. He became interested in the field of palliative medicine and hospice after losing his father to cancer. “When I initially applied at Islands Hospice, I gave myself a year to gain as much experience as I possibly could in the field of hospice medicine. Well, that was seven years ago. I am still very passionate about my job and have no signs of slowing down.”
Dale’s job allows him to provide assistance when people need it most. He remembers helping an elderly spouse of a patient move furniture at their home to make room for new medical equipment. She was extremely thankful for the help but felt bad for calling after his shift had ended. “She gave me a hug and broke down crying due to being overwhelmed, dealing with her husband's terminal disease and so many things that were happening around her,” Dale remembered.
“As much as I have this passion for this job, it can still become very stressful at times,” Dale said. “It is vital to find a balance — that could include talking things over with your friends, co-workers, chaplains, management, etc. If you ever find yourself getting burned out, do not go at it alone, open up and talk things over to people around you, people who you love and trust.”