Care giving is an art that is highly needed in today’s time especially to people who are persistently ill and need the psychological support to get through every day. Caregivers are people who not only take care of your medicines and physical treatment but are also there for your mental support. Their job is to provide a person with a healthy, positive environment in order for them to survive the harsh realities of their condition and how they would go on with their life. Such people also cater to the domestic needs of a patient and assist them in their home activities, especially if they are unable to move due to being paralyzed or have seizures. Caregiver companions are usually very calm and have a good temperament in handling difficult situations and providing emotional aid to the person in need. Today we will discuss what is the experience of a person who wants to provide the services of a caregiver companion as a volunteer. So let’s get into it!
Now the training for a caregiver is usually simple. It varies with every client or patient depending upon their case and specific requirements. If you have a high school diploma, that should be enough but you can get another set of courses done to learn the basics of medicinal treatment and how to provide it. The training that nurses go through usually comes under this branch.
- As caregivers even if they are just volunteers, need to know how to prepare injections and then give to the person and similarly should know the language of medicine charts like OD means one time a day and BD means twice daily. They should know the different signs used in the medicine charts and be able to give the pills to the patient at the correct time with regular, undisturbed intervals.
- They should know the nutritional aspects of foods and what to give a patient with certain co-morbids like diabetes and hypertension. Every disease has a set of dietary rules that need to be followed and a caregiver volunteer should learn the ones related to his/her patient early on before starting the job.
- A caregiver companion is also needed to do the house activities and help the person run the house in a good manner. It involves cooking; cleaning and helping the person take care of their hygiene.
- They are also needed to learn what to do in times of emergency and the steps to take if the patient falls critically ill and needs to be rushed to the hospital. They should be quick on their feet and act fast during such times.
- They should have good emotional capabilities and learn to support the patient if he/she is feeling self-pity or is showing anxious behavior. This also includes dealing with patients who have mental disorders and need to be handled a certain way.
The Volunteer Experience
In today’s time volunteers are at large and everyone is trying to help people in need in any way they can. Care giving companion can also be done as a volunteer. Several hospitals are linked with charitable organizations in which people volunteer to take care of the patients and help them in their life activities. They read to them, talk to them and are emotionally present for them. When a person is stuck in the hospital for a long time, especially the cancer patients who need their chemotherapy every day, such people need caregivers to talk to them and get them out of the depression they must be facing.
Students also volunteer at adult home shelters. This looks good at their college applications and they also get a sense of gratitude of helping someone at a time they might feel alone. They dedicate a summer at the shelters helping old people go by their day and also manage their regular tasks and assist them in whatever they need.
Many people offer their services as a caregiver companion volunteer by giving their CV’s at popular hospitals and clinics. People reach out to them and ask for help with their family member which they are not able to do themselves. Handling a patient who has just had a near death experience or has lost a certain part of his/her body is difficult to manage and that along with the entire mental trauma becomes hard for family members to get them out of that depression. Such people resort to the services of a caregiver companion volunteer to help them get out of the tough time.
During difficult times like a bus or airplane crash, hospitals need volunteers because of the huge influx of patients. Such volunteers help with simple tasks like helping people detect their family members in the crash, giving support to those in need and other minor chores that are needed in that critical time. In recent times, during the covid outbreak several hospitals also had volunteers to help them manage the SOP’s and to keep everyone safe and help people cope with the post corona depression phase which has left people with serious mental disorders.
I would like to say that this is an extremely rewarding profession. If you are free now and have the time then be a caregiver companion volunteer. You can provide companionship and encouragement to patients and bring a new gist of life in them. You can read, sing and cook for them and give them a life akin to their normal one. Your experience also matters a lot so make sure you build an impressive CV which mentions your emotional capabilities and how you manage stress and anxiety. Also mention ways you will help the people and deal with strenuous situations. You need to have the learning and skills required to deal with the particular patient you get to be the caregiver companion of, so get your learning done beforehand and be prepared. Nowadays when the world is filled with cruelty and heartless behavior, be the person who does good, helps others find a new hope and live a better life in whatever circumstances they have.