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Katie’s story with Blossom

As someone pursuing a career in medicine, Blossom has shown me how valuable the simple act of giving a patient your time can be. For many of the patients and families I had the privilege of meeting, I didn’t do much more than sit and listen, play some favourite songs, or make a cup of tea. But in busy wards where staff are rushed off their feet, multiple alarms are blaring at once and something is always happening, I could see the enormous difference this individual care made. This role has consistently challenged discomfort surrounding death and dying that I didn’t even know I had – and I’m certain that the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned will help me be a more resilient and empathetic doctor in the future, with the ability to guide patients through conversations and decisions surrounding death and grief. Not only that, but being a Blossom volunteer has required me to evaluate and change how I process emotionally challenging situations, and I think that learning how to reflect on these experiences in a healthy way is essential for anyone interested in a career in healthcare – for the benefit of themselves and their patients.

Spending time with end-of-life patients and their families has been a privilege. Apprehension to confront or discuss dying and grief seems to lead to more isolation and loneliness during these stages of life, and counteracting this by being a Blossom volunteer has made me feel like I might have made a genuine difference in some people’s lives.