Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 17th
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Home Our Missions Mission of Medicine The Taipei Tzu Chi General Hospital - The company of volunteer

The Taipei Tzu Chi General Hospital - The company of volunteer

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The Taipei Tzu Chi General Hospital
The first surgery
The company of volunteer
A peaceful mind is good for treatment
Protecting neighbors' health
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The company of volunteer
The volunteers supplement the medical staff at Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital. The doctors and nurses treat the patients' physical ailments while the volunteers provide a comforting and warm atmosphere.

Everyone is welcome at the Tzu Chi hospital. Smiling volunteers greet patients as they enter the hospital. Across the foyer, a large mosaic mural entitled "The Buddha Cares for the Sick" calms patients and inspires a sense of awe. On the escalator, soft melodies play and scenes of the night sky created by fiber optics further soothe each patient.

On May 1, the first day of the free clinic, people started pouring in at 8 a.m. Many of the doctors who served at the free clinic came from the Tzu Chi hospitals in Hualien in eastern Taiwan and Dalin in the south. Yen Hui-mei, a senior Tzu Chi volunteer who established the volunteer service team for the Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center, instructed the other volunteers as she provided assistance to the patients.

Chang Hsiao-ping and her husband came by bus from Hsinchu, over an hour away. A loyal Tzu Chi TV viewer, she learned about the free clinic and came to seek treatment. She said excitedly, "I recognize many doctors here because I've seen them on the Tzu Chi TV channel before."

Chang and her husband, Tsai Li-chun, each sought treatment in different hospital departments, she in cardiology and he in neurology. Chang, 71, suffers from hypertension and takes medicine regularly to keep her blood pressure under control. The doctor who treated her found her systolic blood pressure to be over 200. "It's probably because I'm too happy. My visit to the hospital today excited me so much that I couldn't sleep last night." Despite Chang's lack of sleep, she was in very good spirits and chatted happily with the volunteers.

However, her husband, Tsai, endured a long wait and was beginning to feel impatient. Two volunteers noticed his edginess and chatted with the couple to relieve them of their boredom. Chang told the volunteers, "My husband used to be an English teacher at a junior high school, and I was an elementary school teacher. We've both been retired for nearly 20 years now. After retiring from our respective jobs, we taught at a college for the elderly until last year when my husband had a minor stroke."

Lin Shinn-zong, superintendent of the Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center, examined Tsai and determined that he might be suffering from hydrocephalus. "Don't worry about it too much. If it is only a slight case, the surgeon will perform a relatively simple procedure, inserting a catheter into the ventricles of your brain and allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to flow out and relieve the symptoms." Lin explained that Tsai's hydrocephalus had temporarily affected his memory, but that treatment should reverse much of that effect. Lin's explanation greatly relieved Chang, who had been worried that her husband might have been suffering from Alzheimer's.

After making an appointment with the doctor, the couple left with contented smiles on their faces. "The doctors here were very friendly," Chang commented, "and the volunteers that kept us company were so nice. At our age, going to a hospital can be a nerve-wracking experience, so this environment was especially comforting. There wasn't even that distinct smell of medicine that makes most hospitals so intimidating. We plan on coming back often in the future. Even if we are not here for medical reasons, we would like to serve as volunteers."


The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode


Are you prepared to put your kindness into actions and join Tzu Chi in promoting the goodness and beauty of mankind?
You are always welcome to join our Tzu Chi’s Great Love missions by becoming a member or volunteer. Please contact the Tzu Chi location near you.

" Continue even when it is hard to go on, release even when it is hard to let go, endure even when it is hard to bear; this is how we build our character. "
Jing-Si Aphorism