|I can do this! No problem....|
|However, after working on your unit, I might be tempted to do this....|
However, the ebullient, charismatic director of nursing in Telemetry at FBH does have a vision for volunteers on her unit. And so, that is where I've been for a couple of hours on weekends. What adventures! Because of HIPAA, I'll provide rough sketches of some scenarios I've come across:
-the mind-numbingly exhausting deaf woman who was criticizing my sign language acquisition skills as she taught me how to finger spell my name....("No! You put your thumb up like this!")
-the food guy telling me that, in order to get mayonnaise and lettuce for my poor patient who's lunch never arrived, the nurse had to place an order into the computer...("You're new here, aren't you?" Well, it's more that I haven't figured out how to steal the tiny packets of mayo yet! "Where are the condiments, by the way?")
-taking the opportunity to distract a drug-seeking, demanding patient's wife to a smoking break, only to find myself pushing this wheelchair-bound woman around the hospital for someone with a lighter...
-singing hymns with an elderly "psych" patient loudly and cheerfully, and then having her ask me, "Are you black?" "Well, um, no. I'm white, last time I checked. When I tan, I get a little browner, but I'm still white."
-Hearing my poor mayo-starved patient heartily laugh at my comment about the "relationship" I had with mustard ("scant and rarely used") as I spread condiments on her sandwich that FINALLY included mayonnaise
-telling two bored, pesky patients, one of whom was bugging the nurse and doctor, that I'd take them down for a smoking break, but that they'd "better be good!" or they'd get me fired. "Oh, no, we'll be good!" And they were.
-Seeing a nurse smile and look at me, saying, "You're sweet" as I helped a man sit upright to eat his food
-Hearing a nurse say to me, "Thank you so much for your help. I told the nursing supervisor about you. You did so much more than I thought you would."
-Telling a patient that I didn't have a business card, as she requested, because "I'm just a volunteer." "Oh no, you're a lot more than a volunteer. Thank you so much for helping me today."
-Hearing many patients say, "You've been so sweet and helpful. Thank you so much." And really believing that they meant it.
-Leaving at the end of my short time each week, exhausted, spent, educated, and satisfied. Helping people in practical, tangible ways REALLY FEELS GOOD.
Now, if I could just find a way to help pregnant women, their families, and the nurses that care for them....