My name is Emalia Zuttermeister and the course that I have participated in service learning for is Anthropology 200 instructed by Dr. Ulla Hasager. I chose Leahi Hospital, located on 3675 Kilauea Avenue as my service learning site and throughout the time I’d been there, I have completed a number of 27 hours. I am grateful to Joan Watanabe for allowing me to take part in volunteering at Leahi Hospital. Her contact number for information is 808-733-7934 or her email is [email protected] org.
I allow any use of information from my report to be used in the reports that faculty and staff write about the service learning program, although I would like to remain anonymous. The service learning site of Leahi Hospital has a goal to provide individual quality care and service to all patients and residents. From what I have heard Leahi Hospital is mostly known for the care of Tuberculosis patients. Although they may be known for Tuberculosis, a large part of the hospital is for elderly individual that are requiring long term care or short term with restorative care that are without any symptoms of Tuberculosis.
Leahi hospital also has an Adult Day Health Center (LADHC). The Day Center is designed to provide a variety of health, therapeutic, and social services to individuals who are ICF level of care and needs help with care throughout the hours of the day. At the hospital there are many different volunteer sites that is available, most are for helping out the long term elderly residents. The area that I chose to volunteer at was at Leahi Cafe. A place where residents that are able to eat on their own are permitted to join other residents for lunch.
My job there was to set up tables for the residents and when resident are seated I deliver their meals to them that the kitchen had prepared for them. Each resident has a special diet that must be followed. When the residents are finished eating volunteers would take them back to their rooms and set the cafe area up for fun games and crafts. When the game and craft area is set up resident are then brought back down for a fun afternoon of playing games like Hanafuda and Mahjong or participate in crafts.
One of the points that I was most interested into learning before I started volunteering at Leahi Hospital was how patients with different ethnical background would interact with each other in a close living area. I assumed residents with similar ethnic background would congregate into a group and exclude other residents with different cultural and ethnical background. I came to this mostly because of their age and I thought of them as my grandmother. My grandmother, being the sassy lady that she is, is sometimes harsh towards people with a different cultural background as her.
I figure the patients would be much like my grandmother since she, like most of Leahi’s patients, is in her late 80’s. During her time period there was much controversy with ethnicity and culture background. As I was volunteering my time with the patience at Leahi Hospital I watched them interact with each other while eating their meals together, playing games and helping one another out with the crafts that they make. Although Leahi Hospital cares for a variety of patients and residents I noticed that the majority of residents have an asian background. During meal time they had a set place to sit that the supervisors assigned.
Usually the tables consisted of 3 ladies and one man, a table of all men and a few times a table with man and wife. Residents at the table would make small talk but most of the time it was quiet, perhaps because they were tired. Many time residents that came to eat at the cafe fell asleep while eating. As a volunteer I would try to make small talk to the residents to keep them awake and alert, but many time the conversation would be short and residents would keep falling asleep. Once in a while residents would talk about their lives when they were younger.
I enjoyed volunteering at the cafe and listening to what my elders had to say, even if they were half asleep. After their meal came the time for games and crafts. During this time there was much more interaction with the residents and many more residents came to join the ones that were already their. This is where my point of interest was declined and rejected as far as residents at Leahi Hospital goes. As I watched the residents during their games and craft time, residents of all ethnicity congregated together and joined in which ever activity they decided.
No matter the social or ethnic background that they came from if they knew how to play the game they were invited to play or if they wanted to create something in the crafts area they were offered a place to site. None of the patients had any problems with the other patience everyone played well together and helped one another out during their time with crafts. Many times while the residents made crafts if one person couldn’t finish it the person next to them would willingly stop what they were doing to help that person, it didn’t matter that one was asian and the other was caucasian.
It was nice to see them working together when they had no relationship to each other except for living in the same hospital. I believe the workers there help with this setting as well. The workers payed no attention to what type of background they came from or their ethnicity. All they cared for was the well being and health of their patients. More or less the workers may have asked in how their patience former life was, where they grew up, how they grew up ,what was it like growing up there but for purposeful use only, so they would know how to treat their patient in the best way they could.
The workers there would encourage each patient to connect in some way with another patient. I feel their way of taking care of the patience at Leahi Hospital is a wonderful way. Everyone really connects with one another and has a good relationship with each other. Somehow it feels as if the people at Leahi Hospital is one big family and I would not change they way they operate at Leahi Hospital.
Being around the elderly patients at Leahi Hospital showed me that even when people come from different cultural and ethnical background humans are still able to reside peacefully with one another. They showed me that no matter the person you should still show love and compassion to anyone that enters your life. For myself I very much enjoyed volunteering at Leahi Hospital and doing my research there, it showed me how to be patient, loving and compassionate towards others. I feel that Leahi Hospital will always be apart of my life and i look forward to continuing my services there.