Student hospital volunteer blogs about her first day
I am Esha Mumtaz, a Level 3 Health and Social Care student who is volunteering in hospital during Covid-19. This is how I spent my first day working with Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
I started my day at 7 o’clock because I had so many buses to catch to get to Trafford Hospital for my shift at 9:30. My last bus was a shuttle free for NHS professionals, it was free for me too!
Shuttle Bus for Trafford General Hospital
There was a long queue outside the hospital and there were two people standing at the front door to support others to maintain social distancing, sanitise hands and help with where to go.
I entered the hospital, signed in and made my way to the ward I was assigned to volunteer in. I went in, sanitised my hands and greeted the receptionist and the nurses. I then put on gloves and an apron, and changed my face mask.
That’s me right after entering the ward
There were no known cases of Covid-19 in the ward at the time. After putting on my personal protective equipment (PPE), I went into different rooms and chatted with patients. It is great to be able to get the chance to meet new people in hospital.
I then went on to make three beds. It wasn’t as simple as I thought. There were three sheets and there were certain ways of folding them which took me good few minutes to learn. I then sorted some pillowcases and blankets, and put the dirty linen in the laundry.
Each bed has its own TV and telephone to help patients keep themselves entertained. There used to be an extra cost for using TV and the telephone but because of the pandemic they’re free for all patients.
This board, on the wall above their beds shows the patient’s details: their name, preferred name, mobility instructions and any special needs.
When I had completed my first jobs, I asked a ward nurse to assign me a task. She asked me to check the weight of a patient on chair scales. I did this twice, but didn’t get a valid number, then gave it another try and finally got the right one; I wrote it down and showed it to the staff nurse.
It was nearly dinner time so I set around 40 plates for the patients. I put a napkin, hand wipe, and salt and pepper on every tray. The grey tray is for those who are able to feed themselves whereas the red tray is for those who need assistance with food.
A food thermometer is used to check the temperature of meals to make sure it’s not too hot for patients.
The kitchen staff were very kind. They showed me how check this.
What’s on menu today? Beef Bolognaise with pasta and vegetable soup.
I assisted a patient with her food. She was a bit upset about being in bed all day so I chatted with her, encouraged her to finish her meal and kept her company, and she responded with a smile! Mealtime took 20 to 25 minutes, after which I gathered all plates and put them in the sink in kitchen. I then went on my break for 20 minutes.
When I came back, I made cups of tea for two patients and had a lovely conversation with them about their careers in Army. At 2:15 pm I said bye to everyone, took my gloves and apron off, signed the register, sanitised my hands and left the ward.
Luckily I made the shuttle bus on time and started my journey home. I took my seat and thanked God for another pleasant day.