The young volunteers cut hair and talk to patients, helping them feel more optimistic. Photo phunuvietnam.vn
HÀ TĨNH Soldiers are trained to use all sorts of weapons, but mastering the razor? Well, that's a cut above.
Once every two weeks on Fridays, young border guards and police officers of central Hà Tĩnh Province visit the provincial General Hospital to cut patients' hair.
The volunteers bring mirrors, scissors and clippers to set up a small barber shop inside the hospital for patients too sick to leave for a trim.
Two years ago, young doctors of Hà Tĩnh General Hospital attended a training course at Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital and learned about free haircuts for patients there. The doctors brought the idea to Hà Tĩnh hospital’s management board, who sanctioned the move immediately.
According to Dr Nguyễn Thị Như Trang, head of social affairs department of the hospital, the shop opened in August last year.
“The haircut service assists patients who struggle to move around and it reduces infection,” she told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
Each week 30 to 40 patients get their hair cut by the volunteers.
Before the haircut service was offered at the hospital, 90-year-old Nguyễn Hữu Lưu rarely went out for a haircut because he was afraid his skin problems would spread to others.
“Now I am no longer worried about that thanks to the free hospital haircut service. Although the barbers are amateurs, their skill is not worse than professional ones,” he said.
Many patients are taken to the shop on wheelchairs, while others who can't walk have their hair cut in bed.
Dr Hoàng Song Hào, head of quality management department of the hospital, said many patients, after having their hair cut and talking to the volunteers, feel comfortable and optimistic.
Nguyễn Viết Thanh, a 68-year-old patient, said the hospital’s haircut service is very meaningful and inspires patients to fight their illnesses.
“I hope that the service will be offered at other hospitals,” he said.
Lieutenant Trần Văn Tuyển, a member of the barber team, said most of the ‘customers’ are elderly people.
“Each of them has their own story about their life. By talking to them, we encourage them to overcome difficulties, especially illnesses.”
Sergeant Hồ Văn Cường said cutting hair for patients brings happiness to not only the patients but also himself and his colleagues.
“We wish patients will get well soon and reunite with their family.” VNS