I've recently been trying to figure out some of the big things in life as they apply to me specifically, in particular vocations, either careers, volunteering, or maybe even (in a few years, as I'm still a fairly new addition to the Church and the Church wisely tells you not to rush these things) Vocations with a capital "V".
I've spent a lot of time in hospital over the last couple of years, and before than on occasion throughout my life. I don't have a medical background, but I feel that I can talk to people who have had similar experiences to myself (I've had several heart surgeries). So many people suffer in hospitals and, aside from the professional and compassionate medical care they receive from their doctors and nurses, some need someone to talk to who can relate to their situation or just listen. A lot of one's experience of hospital is determined by one's attitude and understanding.
I'd like to do what I can to help in so far as I am able, but I'm not sure how to go about it. As I say, I have some limited personal insight, but aside from that I'm not trained or otherwise experienced. This impulse is a result of my most recent stay in hospital, hopefully my last for a while. I know there are volunteer ward walkers at my local hospital and I have briefly met the Catholic chaplain (under less than ideal circumstances - my heart rate was 250 at the time so we didn't get to chat :eek: ).
I'm going to speak to my parish priest about it, and maybe our parish's SVP. I wondered, however, if anyone here had any insight into volunteering in hospitals or, as longer-term food for thought, what sort of experiences clergy or religious go through in hospital ministry.