When most people think about the hospital, they think of a sterile building that they’d rather avoid. As a pre-med student, I may be a little biased, but I’d like to challenge the notion that society has developed regarding the avoidance of hospitals. I’m not saying it’s where I’d like to spend my Friday night, but I will say that it is an area of greater hope in comparison to just staying sick in your house. Hospitals are buildings that represent the resourcefulness that humans possess, as well as their unwillingness to go down without a fight. The entire building is surrounded by humans who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Hospitals act as an inspiration about how we can all spend time helping those who are ill, showing us that not all difficulties are without end. With that in mind, I’m urging everyone to replace the dread they feel when thinking about hospitals with a more positive light.
Volunteering for a hospital can take many forms, including giving blood and visiting patients. A hospital in California has a program called “Clowns on Rounds,” in which people volunteer their time to help make patients laugh. Hair can also be donated to chemo patients and pillows can be sewn to help with comfort. Some hospitals have programs that get volunteers to cuddle with infants who are born addicted in order to ease their withdrawal. Volunteers can also help escort patients around the hospital and to their car after their discharge. With all of the wonderful volunteer options, there’s no reason to feel pessimistic towards the thought hospitals. Instead, we can be inspired by the things we can all do when we’re working together.