Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Volunteering At A Hospital!

This is a post, just reflecting on what I learnt and did during my volunteering at the hospital on Tuesday (I started on the 17/1/12). I usually take down any thoughts I have on the memo application on my phone, so here's just a few thoughts I had during my time volunteering so far:


Its a really busy ward. I work on the acute medicine ward; Ward 1.

The view from my favourite seat.

Communication is VERY important between the staff  because it is very easy to slip up in that kind of pressured environment. I believe the nurses and HCAs (Health care assisstants) are the backbone of the NHS, because they know whats going on and understand how it works. I see why on Junior Doctors, (Series on BBC3, really good, you should watch it) when the junior doctors are new they rely on the nurses to help them. They are nice people who aren't appreciated as much as they should be.

It seems that life is tough working on the wards, I can see how the budget cuts have affected the ward quite severely. The staff room is literally a box and the food is processed! No fresh food, which is very silly if you are trying to treat people and make them better.Sometimes the hospital has its ups and downs, when I walk around and see the elderly people on their beds, I feel like I'd do anything to treat them because they shouldn't be there, they should be with their families telling stories about the time they had to make do and mend.This is partly  why I want to become a doctor, because you get to change someone else's world by using your knowledge to alter the way they feel.Unfortunately, you can feel death lingering around their beds ready to take them away.

I would change the fact that I have zero confidence to go up to the doctors and ask questions. But they are very busy people, so I guess that is what work shadowing is for. I take volunteering as the backstage access pass to the hospital life we rarely get to see.

I remember having a nice chat with an elderly female patient, she told me about the time she worked in that hospital in the past, she was a very lovely woman. Its moments like these that make the hospital a great place to work in!

Weirdly, I've noticed that all the female doctors are really thin, perhaps its the side effects of the job. I guess its really stressful. Sometimes those that want to do medicine need to step back and see that medicine isn't like Scrubs, House, Holby City or Casualty. There are down sides to the job, just like any other.


  1. Oh wow, can I ask what you do as a volunteer?

    1. What I did was help out in the kitchen, served food, did the menu (as in going round to the patients to ask what they wanted) at one point I made beds. Sometimes we were asked to watch certain old patients from walking about the ward. Sometimes I just sat and observed the ward being busy if there was nothing to do and once I even shadowed a doctor! But I don't volunteer anymore. I stopped in October because it was conflicting with my studies - plus I had done it for over 6 months as required!