Health system looking for volunteers


Niagara Health System is looking for volunteer with skills like good communication and problem-solving, along with a kind nature to support patients, families and staff in the emergency departments in Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines.
“Volunteering at the hospital offers a rewarding experience and meaningful work for community members who want to get involved and have a real impact creating a positive experience for our patients,” says Debbie Anderson, health system volunteer services coordinator, in a release.
The aim of the program, launched two years ago, is to create a great experience for health system patients and their loved ones, and to increase patient satisfaction with its services.  
“Volunteers assist in the waiting room by answering questions, addressing concerns and being a liaison with staff. They also care for patients at the bedside by offering a variety of comfort measures and support,” Anderson said.
The team of volunteers is made up of a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds; those who are working or retired (some from healthcare) as well as students in post-secondary programs preparing for careers in the field.
“I love volunteering … because it’s a time to help and connect with fellow community members on a level that is difficult to achieve in our busy lives. These interactions can make the hospital experience more comfortable, and I’m very grateful to have this opportunity. Working alongside very dedicated frontline staff, physicians, and administration has also helped me develop knowledge and skills that I can use in my future career in healthcare,” said  Brock University graduate Rob Smith, a team lead for the emergency department volunteer program.
 Volunteers will receive comprehensive training beginning in September. Interested applicants have until Aug. 1 to apply through the volunteer section on the NHS website,
NHS volunteer facts:
The health system has about 1,150 volunteers at six sites.
Volunteers contributed more than 150,000 hours of services last year.
NHS scored higher than the provincial average on five of six categories in our 2013 volunteer satisfaction survey.
Volunteers at the NHS are a satisfied group. In a recent survey, 98% said they would recommend volunteering at the NHS to their family and friends.


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