Relearning empathy

Empathy – I need to work on empathy.

I wanted to ignore the girl crying in the hallway at school.  I wanted to continue on my path, leaving school for the day, but I stopped and asked her if there was anything she needed.  She said, no, but pausing to acknowledge she was crying, made me think, I should give pause, and consider those around me more fully and often.  How can I help?  What do you need?

Empathy was the key take away from my 2 hour volunteer orientation at CPMC today.  In orientation, I learned I am too late to volunteer with the Emergency Room.  They only offer a 3 hour ER orientation quarterly, and this quarter has already passed.  If I had been able to schedule the volunteer orientation last month, like I had wished, I would have been eligible for the ER orientation.  Now, I will need to volunteer in another unit.  It would have been interesting to volunteer in the Pediatric ER.  There are many other departments, but that would have been my first choice.

At CPMC, I can volunteer directly with a unit for 100 hours without needing to sit as an informational booth for 100 hours first, as required at SF General Hospital.  CPMC does not require CPR/AED training, but it does have a health screening as well, and their assigned volunteer outfit is $25.  Following the 2 hour volunteer training, I have a follow up 1 hour interview with the volunteer coordinator next week.  If accepted, there is another 2 hour volunteer orientation called transport training, then within the assigned department, there is another training, then I can start volunteering.

The hospital is in a much nicer area of town and is very small.  I won’t have to worry about my bicycle being stolen.  This campus focuses on rehabilitation and therapy, but they do have a ER, surgery unit and pallative care.   I am thinking about requesting volunteering in a nursing unit in cardiac intensive care, or the intensive care unit or the medical surgical unit.  I won’t gain clinical care experience, nor am I serving under-served, low income communities, but maybe I will be a gain deeper, more complex understanding of a potential career in medicine and health.


One Comment

  1. I need some empathy as well. Too often do I ignore people on the street, I see them but I’m not sure what to say.


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