I have been a teenage and young person’s (TYP) volunteer for around three months now and have found it to be a truly invaluable experience. As an aspiring medic, and currently in Year 12, I felt it would be a great opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of being in hospital, during an unimaginably difficult time for young patients.
I feel every session has allowed me to develop better communication skills, be more compassionate and empathetic and understand the meaning of working altruistically, which I feel are all essential qualities of any healthcare role. More importantly, it allows patients to partake in social activities by us providing a listening ear, even if it is only for half an hour a day.
With many patients that I support being around seventeen years of age, getting the conversation going is never a struggle as they are, more often than not, happy to see someone of a similar age. One of the most rewarding aspects is being able to make a connection on a personal level.
Both the volunteer and patient benefit from the experience of peer support. I particularly enjoy being able to put patients at ease. I really benefit from the volunteer support sessions under the guidance of the volunteer coordinator where we get to share and learn from our experiences with other volunteers. Overall, this opportunity is something I am incredibly grateful for and I feel privileged to be a part of a team who wants to ameliorate any difficult situations!