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August 24, 2012
For four years Theodosios (Theo) Karaouzas has been volunteering at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital. He has volunteered in the operating room waiting room, blood lab and is currently volunteering in the intensive care unit (ICU) and helps collect patient menus at meal times.
“I volunteer because I want to help my community and I have a passion for medicine,” says Karaouzas. Karaouzas’ interest in healthcare arose from witnessing a fatal car accident that “left him feeling helpless to assist those involved.” He has since geared his education towards a career in healthcare and is entering his third year at Western University towards an Honours Specialization in Biology with plans of entering Medical School with the goal of becoming a surgeon.
“Volunteering at University Hospital has given me the opportunity to experience working in a hospital,” continues Karaouzas. “Rather than deter me, I am more motivated than ever to pursue a career in healthcare.”
In the intensive care unit Karaouzas manages the waiting room. He escorts families to patient rooms, provides facility information, and regularly interacts with nurses. “I try to make sure families are as comfortable as possible while they wait for news of their loved ones,” says Karaouzas. Taking the advice of another volunteer, he wears a tie to each shift and tries to brighten the atmosphere of the waiting room by leaving a funny message if he is away from the volunteer desk for a short time. “I hope to put a smile on a face or positively change someone’s day each volunteer shift."
“I have been inspired by the kindness and compassion of doctors and nurses towards patients and families in the ICU,” says Karaouzas. “This is something I try to emulate.” His drive towards helping others and passion for medicine is immediately evident upon meeting him and he has received words of encouragement and thanks from families in the waiting room. “Volunteering and helping others is a fulfilling experience.”
At LHSC approximately 800 volunteers spend at least one three to four hour shift providing service to over 90 programs. Anyone interested in volunteering at LHSC can visit http://www.lhsc.on.ca/About_Us/Volunteer_Services/