Today is Wednesday. Wednesday brings many challenges but it also brings me to one of my favourite events of the week – my Hospital Radio show. I say ‘my’ but in fact there are several presenters but I’ll be in the big seat pushing all the buttons and the knobs. Some people, I will say mostly young people as it’s true, think that Hospital Radio is pointless. When they go into hospital they watch TV or listen to their iPod or play on their iPhones or whatever. However for the older generation they sometimes can’t afford the outrageous prices for the TV and half the time they don’t even know of Hospital Radio.
What we do is go around the wards before the show and collect requests from patients. Obviously many won’t listen and don’t care but often you’ll find people who will listen and enjoy the show. I might often find that we are the only people they’ll see in a day (non-staff wise) as they might have no family, or no family who live near at the very least.
Last week towards the end of the show we got a phone call down from a patient (they can ring a free number to contact the studio) thanking us and saying that he had just had his blood pressure taken and it was significantly down on earlier in the day and he attributed this to listening to us for the past couple of hours. It is at times like these that you know you are making a difference, it might not be a huge difference but to some people we are making their stay in hospital better than it would’ve been without us.
This is why I think we do a darn important job. I have made friends and become more confident in myself as a by-product of this volunteering but it isn’t about me. Tonight no doubt I’ll speak to someone who hasn’t had a conversation worthy of the name all day. Hopefully they’ll have a request and listen in and enjoy the banter.
My shows are never here’s a request, that was a request, here’s another request. I try to make it entertaining. I run quizzes between the other hosts and randomly talk about stuff that is going on. A fortnight ago I commentated live on the Men’s 100m Final at the European Athletics Championships just because it was there. Last week we had an excellent quiz on Eurovision – the question was ‘There have been 13 countries who have won Eurovision more than once – name them’ – Lyn & Bobby beat out Brenda & Will 8-5. Tonight I already have a quiz safely tucked away in my wallet and hopefully everyone will enjoy it. The best one I ever did was after I contacted Walkers Crisps and got them to send me a list of their Top Ten Most Sold Flavours. That was a good ‘un…
So Hospital Radio is still relevant in the 21st Century is what I’m trying to say. Whether you want Matt Monro, Pavarotti or Susan Boyle. We have over 22,000 songs and we do our best to play your exact request. Sometimes we can’t as we don’t have it but we’ll play a song by the same artist if possible or the same song by a different artist or if neither are possible, one in the same genre. It might not be walking up a mountain raising money but it is doing something, albeit small, that is making a difference to people’s stays in Hospital and for that, despite what a lot of people say, I am proud to call myself a Hospital Radio DJ.
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