One of the first things that I noticed was that one of the patients who seemed to have been deteriorating over the past couple of weeks was no longer here. I spoke to the nurse who told me that she had unfortunately passed away after her stay, which had been several weeks long. Hearing about the death of a patient is always a sad time, especially since I had developed quite a close relationship to this particular patient throughout her time here. However, this taught me about the emotional aspect of a career in Medicine, especially in a place like the hospice. I’m able to reflect on the significance of being able to demonstrate resilience due to the fact that as doctor you will be expected to deal with severely unwell and even dying patients on a day to day basis.
During my shift I went into a gentleman’s room and his table had fallen over so water had spilt everywhere as well as his main course. I was able to deal with the situation calmly whilst reassuring the patient who seemed to be getting distressed. I demonstrated my compassion by sorting his pillows out and ensuring that he was comfortable and then starting to clear up the spillages. He was becoming increasingly worried and was getting exhausted from speaking so much. I think it’s very important to always act in the best interests of a patient and make them feel comfortable around you so they can trust you. After I cleared his room with the help of the nurses, I sat down with him for a while and asked him about how he was feeling. I’m able to reflect that he was more willing to speak and open his thoughts up to me at this stage. He told me about his cancer, how he feels that he has to live with it and that he feels as though he can’t think straight as this is the only thing that is playing on his mind. I displayed empathy and understanding in order to make the patient feel at more ease. From this I learnt the significance of a doctor or any other healthcare professional showing a patient that they have time for them as it allows them to express their feelings.
I think working in the hospice is a very rewarding experience. Today, I managed to encourage a gentleman hadn’t eaten all day to have a sandwich. After he ate it, he thanked me saying that he feels much better now. Even a small success such as this example has a great impact on the patient and also makes me feels satisfied and motivates me to want to help and do more for people who are suffering. Just as I was finishing my shift today, the hospice Physician called me to come and speak to him. He told me that I have been chosen to be nominated for the Young Volunteer of the Year Award due to my help and commitment on the inpatient and the day therapy units. I was truly overwhelmed by this nomination and delighted that my work was appreciated to such an extent. I feel so grateful to have been given the opportunity to volunteer at the hospice and I just want to be able to continue helping the vulnerable members of the community in every way possible.