Society for Healthcare
I am hoping to get information from anyone who has volunteers working in your Emergency Dept. What do they do, training involved, etc? Do they tend to stay in that department once they are placed?
Thank you in advance.
I have volunteers in our emergency department. You can view the assignment description at my website www.saintjosephhealthsystem.org/volunteer. Once there, click on the reb button labeled "Volunteer Opportunities".
After initial volunteer orientation, department training is done by the department staff on the volunteers first day.
Honestly, a majority of volunteers assigned to the ED do not stay. I have a large college population who want to be there to observe and get career experience the staff does not utilize them and they get bored and quit usually after one or two times there. The unit manager has approached me several times about beefing up the assignment description but we have never been able to get together to do it.
The volunteers that we have in the ED work under the supervision of the Patient Advocates in that area. That has worked better than supervision by the nursing staff. The volunteers make rounds to check in on patients/families and provide any "comfort" measures, such as another blanket or sitting with someone who is alone. They also restock blankets in the warmer, resupply rooms in between patients, deliver food trays to patients who are waiting for a room and can have a meal, run errands, locate wheelchairs, and help discharge patients. If concerns or complaints are voiced by the patient or family, the volunteer makes the Advocate aware so they can address the issue right away. We have a few adults who have been in this role for quite a long time. The students don't tend to stay and usually aren't reliable when they are there.
I also have hospitality or comfort volunteers in our ER. They take around a cart with a thermos of coffee and hot water to offer beverages, snacks, magazines, etc. The supplies come from the ER galley and the magazines, etc. are usually donations through the volunteer office. Two of my ladies are also EMT volunteers for a rescue squad so they enjoy interacting with the ER staff as well as patients/visitors.
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