My experience volunteering at Birmingham City Eye Hospital – Neha Mehta, Dentistry Student

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Neha Mehta

I am currently volunteering at Birmingham City Eye Hospital. Here I have been helping to police the social distancing measures inside the hospital.

With a limited capacity, we help to direct patients to the correct departments and ensure a one-way-system is maintained to avoid collisions and breaches of 2m. I also help the reception staff with any administration, this includes filing, organising patients and documenting notes. The reception staff are not working full time, therefore there is often only 1 at the desk so we help pick up any extra work.

My experience so far has been a positive one. At the start, the hospital were not sure where to place us and I didn’t feel like I was contributing helpfully on our first few shifts. However as each shift has progressed they are finding more areas where they need help with. With each week the departments are also increasing the number of clinics therefore the work load increases with each shift we do. I think that the help we are providing is not massive, however it takes a bit of pressure off some of the staff which I feel is needed.

I definitely think that Dentistry has helped with communicating and helping patients in the hospital. As I was treating my own patients I feel confident engaging with them and the staff feel comfortable leaving them in my care as I direct them to the correct area.

All the staff are really grateful that we are giving up our time. Everyone thanks us and it feels good to know that we are of help. I think next week the trust staff have organised a meeting with all the volunteers to give us a proper induction as we haven’t had one yet and are making an effort to get to know us all. I am very happy I have chosen to volunteer. I only do two days a week (Monday’s and Thursday’s) as to not impact on my online tutorials and studies. Although it is a small contribution I feel it is making a difference and ensures staff are not overly stretched.

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