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Interview: Studente Pauline helpt als vrijwilliger in wzc Home Elisabeth

Gepost door:
Stad Sint-Truiden

Zorginstellingen, ziekenhuizen en woonzorgcentra kunnen alle hulp in deze moeilijke tijd goed gebruiken. Het Rode Kruis lanceerde enkele weken geleden een oproep naar crisisvrijwilligers in de zorg. Pauline Piens, een 21-jarige studente uit Sint-Truiden is één van deze mensen die haar vrije tijd opoffert om andere mensen te helpen in woonzorgcentrum Home Elisabeth. Wij zochten haar op en vroegen haar wat ze doet.

Pauline, kan je jezelf even voorstellen?
Ik ben Pauline Piens, een 21 jarige studente uit Sint-Truiden. Ik studeer een master in International Health and Social Management in Innsbruck, Oostenrijk. Gezien de huidige omstandigheden ben ik zoals vele anderen terug naar huis moeten keren van mijn buitenlands avontuur. Tirol is redelijk vroeg in een strikte lockdown gegaan. Ik vond het aanvankelijk erg om daar te moeten vertrekken, maar nu ben ik wel gelukkig dat ik thuis ben en bij de rest van het gezin kan zijn.

Hoe ben je bij Home Elisabeth terecht gekomen en waarom doe je daar vrijwilligerswerk?
Ik zag op de VRT NWS-app de oproep van Rode Kruis Vlaanderen voor crisisvrijwilligers. Aangezien mijn opleiding dit semester hoofdzakelijk uit zelfstudie en research naar een thesisonderwerp bestaat, gaf dit mij voldoende tijd en vrijheid om me te engageren. Ik heb dan ook direct besloten om mij in te schrijven. De organisatie nam vrijwel onmiddellijk contact met me op en gaf me een overzicht van alle plaatsen in Limburg waar vrijwilligers gezocht werden. In het overzicht stond WZC in het rood aangeduid met de vermelding ‘dringend vrijwilligers gezocht’. Mijn keuze was dan ook snel gemaakt.

Wat zijn je taken daar?  En hoe ziet je dagindeling er uit?
Ik help er vooral bij de logistieke taken: koffie zetten, verdelen van de maaltijden, afruimen, afwassen en veel ontsmetten. Soms ondersteun ik ook de verpleegkundigen, afhankelijk van waar er hulp nodig is. Mijn dag start om 8u30. Terwijl de bewoners aan hun ontbijt bezig zijn, word ik gebriefd. Er kan op enkele uren veel veranderen in het woonzorgcentrum. Toen ik begon als vrijwilliger, kwamen enkele bewoners nog in de zaal eten. Ondertussen moet iedereen verplicht in zijn of haar kamer blijven.

Hoe beschermen het personeel en jullie als vrijwilliger zich daar tegen het coronavirus?

Iedere bewoner in het woonzorgcentrum getest. Ondertussen zijn enkele bewoners verhuisd zodat er met cohort-afdelingen kan gewerkt worden. In de gangen waar de COVID-19 patiënten liggen, komt alleen personeel met goede beschermkledij: schort met lange mouwen, beschermbril, spatscherm, handschoenen en FFP2-masker. De personeelsleden die niet in deze gangen komt (bestuur, logistiek, vrijwilligers, studenten…), dragen een chirurgisch mondmasker en passen de handhygiëne maatregelen strikt toe.

Ben je niet bang om zelf besmet te raken?
Ik voel mij veilig op mijn afdeling, mede omdat alle bewoners, waarmee ik in contact kom, negatief hebben getest. Natuurlijk besef ik dat de kans op besmetting – ondanks alle voorzorgen – blijft bestaan, maar ik hou me zo goed mogelijk aan de regels om dit te vermijden.

Heb je nog een boodschap aan andere jongeren die zich in deze moeilijke periode ten dienste kunnen stellen voor onze maatschappij?

Contacteer het Rode Kruis, of een andere vrijwilligersorganisatie! Zij zullen je met plezier wegwijs helpen. Kijk ook eens in je directe omgeving of daar niemand hulp kan gebruiken. En, probeer je digitale contacten te onderhouden. Social distancing heeft niet alleen op de maatschappij een grote invloed, maar het maakt ook individuen erg kwetsbaar. De confrontatie met eenzaamheid is nu groter dan ooit.

En ik wil zeker ook dit nog even kwijt: ga, vanaf het weer kan, eens extra vaak langs bij je (groot)ouders, want geloof mij, ze missen jullie echt!

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