Musings of a Hospital Volunteer

Volunteering at the hospital isn’t all that it was cracked up to be. 

“Patient interaction!”
“Doctors everywhere!”
“Clinical experience!”
“Take this extra 2 hour orientation because man oh man are you going to need it!!”

It turns out that all I do is check the mail, occasionally stock rooms, and answer the phones every once in a while. Oh and my favorite: I get to clean and restart all the computers.

I visit patients twice during my 3 hours. And I chose the primetime for when they do not want to see me, because my 3 hour session lands smack dab in the middle of visiting hours. I would prefer family and friends over a random volunteer too.

It was especially hard coming back to the hospital after my dad passed away. It makes it worth coming though. I hope my few duties demonstrate care, because that’s I how hope my dad was treated. Not just “Room 32 needs water.” Or “Room 21 needs to pee again.” Of course, the nurses are extremely busy, and no one in the healthcare profession can afford to think too much about the gravity of such situations. It would be paralyzing. So that’s my place, as a lowly volunteer: just to see patients as people, and make sure towels are replaced and everyone has water.


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