Volunteering at Hospice Days 4 and 5

Day 4: This was going to be my first day on the In Patient Unit (IPU) where all the wards for the hospice are and the end of life patients. I knew this was going to be different from the day hospice, not just because of the patients but the whole dynamic changes. One thing I learned never to say to people today was “how are you today?” What a stupid question that would be to someone in a hospice ward. I have learnt that I have so much left to learn.
This day I was on the IPU reception which was a mainly administration role but I enjoyed greatly being in a medical environment. Having to put calls through to doctors made me slowly aquatinted with those on staff that day. I was getting to know the patients in the ward as well but only on paper
Day 5: On arrival to the hospice I was greeted by the lady I would be shadowing on the ward, she like me was a fellow volunteer but much more experienced. Our first job I was told was to go into every room and collect any dirty dishes from lunchtime. When I say every room I mean the ones we could enter as there were a few that had their blinds closed which means strictly no entry. Having been introduced to some of the patients I felt greatly honoured to be in this place and have this role of talking to these people in their states and just do simple roles like making a cup of tea for them. I cannot wait until the day when I am a doctor and will have an even more intimate and close role with patients. When entering rooms sometimes you could feel some sort of tension between the patient and a visitor they may have. The other volunteer I was shadowing asked me if I picked up on anything when we went into one room with a patient and his wife and I told her my thoughts. She completely agreed with me and explained that when under the stress of the situation it can be very difficult for the both patients and visitors and their relationships can start to pull.
I look forward to my next time on the In Patient Unit and I know it will be the reception again but I think I certainly prefer the ward duties as there is so much more contact with patients.

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