Alex Advocate at Alexandra Hospital

LO1 : AWARENESS
LO6 : GLOBAL VALUE

At the end of grade 11, my time with the ‘MINDS’ came to a close as I was attending with the school. I had previously visited MINDS on my own, however, I felt I wanted to experience a new activity. After conducting research over summer I found the ALEX H.E.A.L programme at Alexandra hospital for volunteers. I was interested in the wide range of opportunities they had to offer including one on one patient care and horticulture therapy. During summer I went for a four hour introductory and training session at the hospital where I learnt about basic hygiene in the hospital and how to approach different scenarios involving patients.

Many patients at the hospital can’t or only speak limited english, this has been a challenge for me as I can’t speak or understand mandarin and tamil which is many of the patients main language. I have dealt with this challenge by engaging the patients in physical activities and using hand gestures, making communication a lot easier. My involvement in this activity has helped me become more comfortable around people I’ve never met before and learn to communicate despite language barriers.

I have learnt more about the global issue of an ageing population through my volunteering experiences. Unlike traditionally, many families are unable to take care of the elders in their families due to overwhelming work and may choose to put them in a nursing home. I think my actions have had a positive impact on this issue. Although it may be small, it can be nice for the patients to have someone to interact and talk to when their family may be too busy to visit them regularly. I think this activity has taught me about the importance of staying connected with your family and I’m looking forward to volunteering more often.

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harit16471@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg

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