May 18, 2007
Persevere to Volunteer
I am trying to volunteer some time weekly to help at a local hospital.
I say "trying" because it's quite a process to get to the point of actually going in and starting.
First I prayed and asked God to guide me to the right place (nursing home or hospital? Which one?).
I went for an interview at a local hospital, with the Director of Voluntary Services.
I filled out forms, and got two friends to write recommendation emails for me.
I went to meet the Ward Manager and see the ward I might work on.
I went to the hospital's Occupational Health office to be checked out to see if I were fit to work without doing myself any harm.
I drove 40 minutes to another, bigger, sister hospital to get my photo taken and made into a volunteer name badge.
I waited for a volunteer uniform to arrive in the post.
I thought I was set to begin next Wednesday. I was getting anxious thoughts about how I would do in trying to cheer some patients up, listen to them, maybe read to them. Would they even want me to talk to them? Would they be hostile? Who am I anyway?
Then I got another phone call from the Director of Voluntary Services, who is coordinating all this. It turns out I can't volunteer on the respiratory problems ward without having had a tuberculosis vaccine (which can ooze pus and apparently leaves a scar). I had signed a waiver about the TB vaccine at the occupational health office and the person there had said it was okay. But the ward manager disagreed. I can understand that.
So now they are looking into alternate wards for me, but it's not looking good. They don't want to be responsible for endangering my health. So I may have to either get the TB vaccine (I'm not wild about that) or give up the hospital volunteering idea.
Persevere to volunteer? I've already been vaccinated against tetanus, polio, diphtheria, measles, rubella, yellow fever, smallpox and pertussis. Should I add another new one to the list at age 35? Apparently babies in the UK are routinely vaccinated against TB at birth. I missed that one, being born in the U.S. I have no "BCG scar" to show. Decisions, decisions.
Update later that same day: They seem to have found a ward where I could volunteer without a TB vaccination. It's either a cardiac or stroke ward, not sure which. They still want me! Thanks, and keep leading, Lord!
May 18, 2007 | Permalink
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Wow. I feel pretty good for the patients having such well-screened volunteers, but also pretty bad for the fact that its such a hassle to volunteer. I can't imagine that very many people go to the trouble. And, its my personal opinion that you'd be a WONDERFUL visitor for sick people :)
Posted by: Lucy | May 18, 2007 5:27:07 PM
What a wonderful ward to volunteer in. My Mom had a heart attack a few years ago, and I am sure she would have appreciated a kind face in the absence of my Dad when he needed to go home to shower. It is a great place for you, Katherine!
Posted by: Leah Jones | May 20, 2007 2:53:18 AM
Since I have personally been in touch with your HEART, both in and out of the womb, for over 35 years, I can HEARTily recommend you for the service of HEART patients who might need a kindHEARTED person to help them through some hard times. With God on your side, you are set to be a HEARTfelt honey of a volunteer. Remember Jean Foster, and how much it meant to her when you read to and wrote for, her. God bless you, darling daughter...Mom
Posted by: Patricia Taylor | May 20, 2007 4:14:52 AM