Biomedical Science student Myshelle Loader has had a variety of university experiences, but volunteering at Hopewell Hospice gave her a new perspective on life.
Despite being a universal part of the human experience, death can be a confronting experience for all. However, with volunteers, like Myshelle, Hopewell Hospice is providing palliative care patients with care, love and entertainment.
Hopewell Hospice provides residential and respite hospitality in a peaceful home-style environment, for those who need compassionate palliative care and holistic symptom management. Their eight-bed facility provides a welcoming and supportive environment for patients in the last days of their life.
Myshelle said her Community Internship at Hopewell Hospice was a challenging yet rewarding experience.
“My role as a receptionist at Hopewell Hospice provided me with an insight into palliative care practice and opportunity on how to deal with compassion,” she said.
“My role involved answering the telephone, likely to those who may be expressing significant distress; assisting families and visitors with compassionate and sensitive support at a time of grief; and helping nursing staff when needed.
“As an aspiring medical professional I understand you need to be a well-rounded person, not just knowledgeable about content in a textbook.
“This highly emotional experience at times provided me with an opportunity to hone my soft skills, including compassionate professionalism, conflict resolution and communication.
“Hopewell Hospice gave me a perspective on the real world.”
Hopewell Hospice volunteer coordinator Margo Amundsen said the organisation and 170 volunteers provided a crucial and meaningful service to Gold Coast residents.
“As the only Hospice located in the Gold Coast region, we provide a compassionate space for our patients to enjoy the last days of their lives,” Ms Amundsen said.
“We remove the burdens of medical care from families so that they can spend the last days of their family member’s life with them and enter their grief knowing their loved one has passed peacefully and comfortably.
“Volunteers provide essential support to the Hospice, by answering phones, providing information and support to grieving families, and supplying meals for our patients.”
Myshelle encouraged other health science students to volunteer as they typically do not have many opportunities for practical experience.
Griffith University Medicine program director Niru Nirthanan said a community internship in palliative care, particularly for those studying medicine, was beneficial.
“It helps students develop workforce acclimatisation, professional socialisation, improved patient-physician relations, and critical self-reflection,” he said.
If you are interested in volunteering at Hopewell Hospice contact the Community Internship team NOW!