Why get involved with health & hospices?
It really does take a special type of person to work at a hospice or for a health charity. It can be challenging and very emotional, but it is a wonderful way to care for people in desperate need of help.
What do these charities do?
Hospices aim to provide a relaxing, caring and enriching environment for terminally ill patients. The experience of being in a hospice offers comfort and a calming environment where the patient and their family can share the best possible quality of life at the most difficult of times.
If you are looking for a career in nursing or working with health charities, volunteering at a hospice or a health-related charity could be a good way to gain experience.
Hospice workers help in many different capacities, from spending time with patients and caring for them, to offering beauty therapies, helping out on reception or as part of a fundraising team.
How do I get into this field?
It’s quite common to begin as a volunteer and eventually move into a more senior position as you become more experienced. No specific qualifications are needed for volunteer roles in hospices or other health charities, just dedication and commitment.
Some people work on the wards. Here, you’ll provide practical help by running messages for the nurses, making beds and serving meals or spending time chatting to the patients. It’s also a chance to support the occupational therapists and assist with games or arts and craft classes.
One of the most demanding roles comes with providing bereavement support for relatives. This will usually require some training unless you already have a counselling qualification.
Health and hospice charities offer the whole range of charity careers. You could use your marketing skills and get involved with the campaigning, communications and marketing side of things. You could use your organisational talents and take on an administrative role.
Another route in would be to kick off by getting involved as a volunteer, before moving into a volunteer coordinator position. Alternatively, you could use your research skills to help influence policies on hospice care and support for terminally ill patients.
There’s no doubt that this is a tough career path to take, so you have to be really committed to helping people and putting in your all even when things seem to be at their most difficult. If that sums you up then why not consider a career in health and hospice charities?