I learned an incredible amount at Pemberton Music festival thanks to the many learning opportunities that arose and those who kindly were willing to teach such as Martin. (Thanks Martin!!!).
I practiced and/or learned how to:
- stay calm when someone runs in yelling that someone is dying while you get a call that someone is bleeding severely but oh you already have a semi conscious patient here in the tent. You’ll be jittery at beginning but as your shift goes on, you’ll surprise yourself by being calmer that you knew you could be.
- Try to help someone else who is terrified get more comfortable- this is a skill that is not as easy as you may think it is!
- deal with nasty attitudes . Terrible truth you need to know: a patient or a patient’s friend, surprisingly most likely another female, will tell you that you’re not qualified to serve as medical volunteer but the male staff next to you looks more qualified. You will answer politely with a smiling face and internally rationalize that this could be a tactic to get the cute male staff to help them.
- Listen to a request carefully even it sounds wacky at first. The details help you realize something critical
- Do a little something extra so that they’ll have a better festival experience e.g. add extra tape for their blisters so it’ll stay when they go back to dancing away
- Help people who need help but insist that they are okay. That’s a strategy to this.
- Work together with a team of health professionals that gave differing opinions on how to treat the same things and have differing attitudes towards communicating with patients. Take what you think is good from others but it’s okay to do what you think is best when it’s the right time to do so.
- Talk to a variety of people from patients to security guards
- Struggle with self-doubt towards your own knowledge and skills. It’s not always sunshine and smiles. It gets hard and it gets scary in some cases.
I liked what I was doing so much that I volunteered over at Main Medical once my shift at Camp Central was over.
I got to meet new faces, re-connect with volunteers that I’ve met at previous volunteer gigs, chat with people while eating the delicious food at staff catering, and listen to great music. I got introduced to the Chainsmokers whose songs I now like so much.