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Volunteer Training Workshop held for Friends of Max Group

Nov 25 2006

{mosimage} Core groups of Friends of Max volunteers in each city have expressed a desire and (in some cities) begun to work towards giving back to the community. This desire is primarily reflected in activities directed towards providing emotional support to newly diagnosed patients in the group as well as reaching out to other patients and care givers they may meet in their hospitals.

TOGETHER WE TRAIN AND LEARN WORKSHOP #2

BACKGROUND

Core groups of Friends of Max volunteers in each city have expressed a desire and ( in some cities) begun to work towards giving back to the community. This desire is primarily reflected in activities directed towards providing emotional support to newly diagnosed patients in the group as well as reaching out to other patients and care givers they may meet in their hospitals.

OBJECTIVE

To provide basic training from within a peer environment in basic coping , communication and counseling skills.

METHODOLOGY

One-day interactive workshop incorporating group discussions and report sharing.

• Twenty eight participants including patients and family members were divided into three sub groups with one leader chosen who would report to the whole group.
• Sub groups were formed based on the colour coded name cards.
• Ice – breaker / introductions.
• Introduction to TMF, its mission and background in patient support.
• Group exercises given on three basic topics (a) Reasons for Volunteering (b) Basic coping strategies and (c) Basic Counseling skills.
• Distribution of Information Sheets and Feedback Forms.

OUTCOME

WHY DO WE VOLUNTEER?

We feel the need to volunteer our services to others facing the trauma of a similar diagnosis because by doing so we find in ourselves or for ourselves the following:

1. A DEEP SENSE OF SLEF SATISFACTION
2. OPPURTUNITY FOR LEARNING
3. REWARDS IN OTHERS’ HAPPINESS – SMILES FROM OTHERS
4. EMOTIONAL FULFILMENT
5. A CHANCE TO OBTAIN AND SPREAD AWARENESS OF THE DISEASE
6. GIVE AND FIND SOLACE – PEACE FOR THE SOUL
7. HONE OUR HUMANE SKI LLS AND IMPROVE / INCREASE COMPETENCES
8. A SENSE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY
9. BONDING WITH OTHERS
10. ABILITY TO REPAY TO COMMUNITY

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

The following skills were found to be most essential for effective and compassionate communication:

1. ABILITY TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE CLEARLY
2. LANGAUGE SKILLS ( COULD BE OF GREAT HELP IN A COUNTRY LIKE OURS WITH MANY LANGUAGES SPOKEN)
3. NOT TO BE JUDGEMENTAL
4. SPEECH TECHNIQUES
5. MIND SET OF A GOOD , PATIENT LISTENER
6. LISTEN MORE TALK LESS
7. POSITIVE ATTITUDE
8. CONFIDENT BODY LANGUAGE
9. GROOMING

COPING WITH DIAGNOSIS

The following were the emotions the group faced during the time of diagnosis:

1. WHY ME?
2. WHAT NEXT?
3. SHOCK AND DENIAL
4. END OR BEGINNING?
5. HOW WILL I MEET THE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES?
6. HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT? – (THIS IS EVENTUALLY IRRELEVANT)
7. TO DISCLOSE OR NOT-AND TO WHOM?
8. DISBELIEF
9. QUESTIONING GOD AND ONE’S PERSONAL BELIEFS
10. AVOIDANCE OF SYMPATHY
11. ACCEPTING THAT SYMPATHY STEMS FROM IGNORANCE
12. INCREASED BONDING WITH PRIMARY CARE GIVER
13. DECISION TO FIGHT AND DEFEAT/OVERCOME THE DISEASE
14. ACCEPTANCE OF LIFE ALTERING EVENT

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