As a second-year undergraduate, Vijay Kamalumpundi has volunteered over 395 hours at UI Hospitals and Clinics. He began volunteering here after he had heard wonderful things about the meaningful relationships that form between staff, volunteers, and patients. He started out volunteering in the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) and Neuroscience Intermediate Inpatient Unit and is most recently serving as the Student Leader Board member for the Adult Acute Care Unit and Palliative Care Unit.
Vijay took part in a pain and palliative care course that took him abroad to India. Through this experience, he wrote a narrative that was recently published in the Journal of Palliative and Supportive Care. He wanted to share this with both volunteers and healthcare providers to reinforce the idea that every moment can be profound during a shift, as a volunteer or a health care provider.
“Last fall I applied for a study abroad course in India centered around palliative care. Palliative care focuses on easing suffering and maintaining quality of life for people with serious life threatening illnesses. My experiences as a volunteer in my hometown coupled with patient and physician interactions that I had in India were so life-changing that I recently wrote and published a narrative about it. My hope in writing this is to reach all of our volunteers in hopes of reminding them how every shift…every hour spent volunteering can make an impact on our lives and the lives of our patients!”
Read Vijay’s narrative: From bedside to fruit stand: A cultural exploration at Pallium India