Firstly, I receive a handover from one of the nurses and we discuss the patients, their needs and requirements and any other information that might be necessary throughout my shift. I then help deliver meals to patients, return dishes to, and help the kitchen staff as necessary. In between doing my main job of delivering the meals, I like to chat to the patients and relatives, as well as offering them any refreshments.
What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
For a volunteer, I think it’s really important to be able to communicate and listen effectively, as well as being kind, caring and empathetic.
Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I signed up to be a volunteer in January this year for the In Patient Unit at Jersey Hospice, as I thought being part of such a worthwhile charity would be extremely beneficial both to my career and personal development, as this role develops and cultivates an empathetic and understanding skill set. I am interested in studying medicine and feel that the experience of working in this environment will enable me to ascertain whether I am emotionally robust enough to deal with end of life scenarios.
What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love getting to know all the people, including patients and staff, in the Hospice and everyone is always really welcoming and friendly. My favourite part of a shift is talking to the patients and the staff. It is definitely a contrast to my normal school life and I have benefited immensely from my time here, as it has given me a sense of fulfilment and purpose.
Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
I think if you are considering becoming a volunteer at the In Patient Unit, it is important to be aware that that people may be dealing with a death of a patient and this can be diffcult if you are not used to it. It is also important to know when a family or patient may not be in the mood to talk and not take it personally. These situations can sometimes be hard, however you need to remain respectful and patient at all times.
What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I had a volunteer induction meeting and did two shadow shifts, following volunteer staff on their shifts. I also completed a food safety awareness training course and a safeguarding course.
Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
I would definitely recommend being a volunteer for Jersey Hospice and there are so many different ways you can get involved, such as day hospice, gardening, driving and administration roles. Jersey Hospice is such a big charity and even a little bit of your time is beneficial in so many ways, I hope to continue my work at Jersey Hospice as it is a real pleasure working there.