Name: Trish McArthur
Age: 64 years old
Commencement: October 2015
Travels from: The Gap
Initially, I was trained to perform a variety of activities across various sections of the hospital. This enabled me to gain an understanding of the hospital layout, as well as to appreciate the work other volunteers are doing. It has also enabled me to back-fill another volunteer in any of those areas I have received training, should the need arise.
Currently, my shift begins by visiting Ward 3D, where patients awaiting discharge, are invited to rate their experience at St Andrews, in the form of a five question evaluation.
Patients are always keen to engage in conversation, often expressing astonishment they have had such a positive experience, pointing out to me how all the staff were extremely kind and caring.
I offer lunch assistance to any Ward 4E patients confined to bed. This includes offering a warm washcloth before lunch as well as opening lids, packaging, cutting up food for those who would like a hand.
There are many patients who have few visitors so my role as ward visitor provides a listening ear to anyone who would like company. I thoroughly enjoy hearing people’s stories and find the experience absolutely fascinating and extremely rewarding.
People whom I have never met before disclose many aspects of their lives which are often personal and sometimes difficult for them to share. I feel privileged to hold this position of trust and enjoy connecting with and encouraging others. I have found many a time someone can be a bit down, however once they begin to talk about themselves and they have a listening ear, it really lifts their spirits. Even though I don’t feel I do much, I know I am appreciated.
While most people see voluntary work as “giving back to society” I can confirm those people I serve are a great source of encouragement to me. I think the old verse from Proverbs 11:25 rings true for me ........”those who refresh others, will themselves be refreshed”.
The other volunteers at St Andrews “took me under their wing” from day one. They have been exceptionally supportive, helpful and friendly. It’s great to work alongside others with the same values. It is an honour to work for such a reputable hospital.