Who are you?
Richard Sharp – Volunteer, diagnostic imaging patient support.
Summarise your role.
On most weekday mornings, there is a volunteer in diagnostic imaging looking after patients as they pass through the department. The aim is to make their experiences as pleasant and without stress as we can. Most of the time, we provide company and support to the patients by having a chat, but we can help people in other, more direct and practical ways.
What do you find rewarding about your role?
As with many roles in the hospital, it’s the sense of making a difference. It’s always good when I can solve a problem for people. I have become proficient in a range of things, such as seeking out wheelchairs to finding ‘lost’ husbands. I also enjoy the contact with people and conversations themselves, which can be stimulating and fun, as well as offering sympathy and reassurance.
More generally, I like the sense of being among good people who do such an important job in a caring way, and still find time to be friendly to me. I am very proud of the diagnostic imaging department.
What do you find challenging?
I have to be sensitive to individual patients’ needs. Sometimes they can be angry or frustrated and need someone to listen to their annoyance, and at other times, people are facing difficult and worrying situations need someone to provide calm and reassurance.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I am a walker and volunteer with our local ramblers group. I enjoy the combination of exercise, seeing the beautiful Surrey countryside and the company of friends. More esoterically, I am also a great fan of pre-Raphaelite stained glass.