Hospitalization following a traumatic injury can be filled with uncertainty, pain, anxiety and frustration. The TSN offers trauma patients an opportunity to talk with a trained peer visitor who can help the newly injured person through this difficult time and serve as a positive role model for the future.
Since they have all lived through the trauma recovery experience, including the rescue scene, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and returning home, TSN peer visitors understand the concerns of new trauma patients on a deeply personal level. When a new trauma patient talks about his or her anxieties regarding the recovery ahead or the frustrations of dealing with the medical system, the TSN peer visitor can offer understanding and some tips for getting through the day. Most important, they are there to listen, address concerns and answer questions.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TALKING WITH A PEER VISITOR?
Some benefits of talking with a peer visitor include:
- Sharing your experience with someone who can directly relate to what you are going through
- Learning some practical tips on moving forward
- Receiving encouragement and support
- Getting answers to questions from the perspective of someone who’s ‘been there’
- Feeling less anxious, afraid and alone
WHO ARE PEER VISITORS?
TSN peer visitors have experienced a traumatic injury, such as a car crash, fall, gunshot wound or work related injury and have made a successful adaptation to their life after injury. All TSN peer visitors have completed a training program that teaches them how to listen, communicate and better understand the recovery from a serious injury. Peer visitors are not professional counselors, therapists or advisors (medical, legal, or otherwise). They volunteer their time because they want to help others like themselves.
HOW DO I REQUEST A VISIT?
If you are interested in getting together with a TSN peer visitor, you should contact your TSN Coordinator who can arrange for a peer visit. If you leave the hospital before a visit can be arranged, you may request that a peer visitor get in touch with you in rehabilitation or at home.
HOW DO I BECOME A PEER VISITOR?
If you have experienced a traumatic injury and would like to become a peer visitor, please register and fill out our volunteer request form or contact your trauma center's TSN Coordinator directly. Remember, to become a peer visitor you will have to participate in some training to make sure you are ready to help others and develop the skills to make you the best peer visitor possible.