Tina has worked as a Hospital Guide at Queen Alexandra Hospital for a number of years following her retirement.
“I chose to volunteer as a 'meet and greeter' at Queen Alexandra Hospital as it is such a vast area with many departments that and it is easy to get lost, especially when your mind is on a medical problem or a loved one. When I started I knew I would like the challenge of directing both patients and visitors to put them more at ease.”
“While on duty I take up my place where I can see people easily. I love people watching and checking body language to see whether they might need assistance. I help to find wheelchairs for patients, guide them verbally or actually show the patients to their appointment and generally make their experience more pleasant.”
“Some people are very nervous so I try to chat about normal everyday things while guiding, being aware that it is not acceptable to ask about their medical problems. I hold a bleep which enables any outpatients department to call me to take people back to the entrances, find the taxi-phone, or take them to another department. Often while returning from one part of the hospital, I find people wondering around and they are then pleased to get help to get to where they wish to go!”
“After their appointment, the children like it when their 'super patient' badge from their doctor is recognised and they can feel proud of themselves. It is very rewarding to get a smile and a 'thank you' when they pass by going out later in the day.”
“I originally volunteered due to the fantastic care that a member of my family had received at Queen Alexandra Hospital. I felt that I wanted to help and give something back in return.”“I am now working within the Endoscopy Department which I really enjoy, and the staff always make me feel very welcome and appreciated. My main role is on the reception using the PAS system, ensuring the case notes are correct, that we have the necessary consent forms and discharging case notes for rough filing, taking calls and generally making the patients feel at ease.”
Ben is currently a Year 2 student at Portsmouth College and is studying for his A Levels. Even at the young age of 18, he knows that would like a career in medicine. “The reason why I chose to volunteer at Queen Alexandra Hospital was to gain an insight into some of the workings of a hospital and to acquire experience that would be deemed essential for a potential career in the field of healthcare. It was a way to become involved in my local community, and gave me an opportunity to try and help improve patient care.”
“I have been volunteering on the G3 acute elderly medicine ward and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this time, whilst learning a great deal too. The types of things that my voluntary work has entailed include talking with patients, helping to feed patients and assisting in general care upon the ward. When I started the staff on the ward were instantly welcoming and appreciative, and I have been fortunate enough to meet many lovely people and befriend numerous patients. Additionally, the support on offer from the voluntary services has been incredible and the experiences that I have had, overall, have consolidated my desire to pursue a career involving elderly medicine and palliative care.”