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VOLUNTEER YOUR PATIENT(s)…

Today was a great day for me; I should rephrase that, because everyday really is a great day, and why wouldn’t they be?  We only have a small number of them; make em’ great!  Today, though, was my first BIG day at UCLA.  Volunteer, yes, but it really was a great day.  I started visiting rooms, “shadowing”, as it is called, with another gal, showing me the ropes of what is expected of us.  Lot of paper work, actually, from visiting  patients, their condition, and how they feel about the services provided for them.  I have to really use my perception of them, and realize, “do I stay, or should I go”.  There were two areas that I visited: 1) a main floor that was used mainly for people with liver conditions.  Some rooms I had to “gown up” to enter, others I didn’t; and 2) surgical response, which I’m sensing is going to be a favorite of mine.

The liver floor, as I’ll call it, was a lot of fun, too.  You go in, ask if they need anything, Dr., nurses, a paper, food, anything..and try to find out, in a very short period of time, how they’re doing.  When I say “how they’re doing”, I certainly can’t get into their medical status.  It’s more like would they like to talk, about anything.  Some people do, some don’t.  You have to record what went on, with each room; it’s really kind of cool.  Even though we’re volunteers, what we write down goes on their record as to how they felt about the service on their stay; it’s kind of like a back-up should there be any problems down the road.

The surgical response area, is an area for one-day surgeries.  Saw a young little boy, ( 3 years old), who just had his tonsils taken out; poor little guy, he was in that pain that he probably hadn’t experienced before, and was scared!  His parents were so nice, and caring, Miles was his name.  Little Miles will go home today, all of the others will also.  Since these people will only be there a short while, we want them to be happy, if I can use that word.  It means a lot to them, to anyone, who has a situation that has to be surgically dealt with; I kind of have a knowledge of that area!  Yes, you want to be dealt with in a professional manner, but you might want to have sleep on your mind, so maybe closing the door, so the person in the room doesn’t have to hear the hallway noise.  Simple stuff like that.

What I’m writing here probably doesn’t mean to much to everyone out there, (me being a volunteer), but it does to me, because I’ve been there, in that position; and now I’m getting a little bit of the feeling I had back then, when I was in the hospital.  Sometime, in their position, you don’t even know what to ask for, to make you feel better, you’re just in pain.  I actually do remember, (from the first surgery), I was sharing a room.  Can’t give you much of a story, I just can’t remember, but the other person, a teenage kid, had gotten in a car accident; all I heard was “oohs, aahhhs, and crying”, as they were trying to pin-point everything that he needed,  by slightly moving his body.  He was in pain, and boy, let me tell you, all that crying, that is still with me; by the way, he wasn’t wearing a seat belt.  Note to self, ALWAYS wear the belt!!!  What I witnessed today wasn’t anything tragic, but it SO reminded me of a lot of my days there, and how I do cherish each day!  I know, I know, I might be sounding like a broken record on each blog, about NOW; but I know that my days, anybodies days, could come back to this hospital.  And then what?  We don’t know.

We all don’t know, until you’ve been a position like this, how much these places, these hospitals, need volunteers.  If you’re looking for a situation where you feel very humbled, but also very, very good; think about doing some volunteer work.  You can get very energetic with activity; it’s almost like what I do for living.  I work with people, and try to get a good feeling of their condition in a very short period of time.  Same thing.  I also think that all of us have that ” some-thing” we want to do for people; this is it!  Listen to me make the sale, here!!  Just think about it.

I hope everyone has a great day, and a great weekend, and oh, by the way, I have a question.  The homework; remember?  Did you do something for somebody, maybe that person who doesn’t even know that you did it?  Did you?  If not, better get to it; if you did, do it again, and again!  You’ll love that, and yourself, for bringing it on!  Love life, baby!!!

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