Hospital’s call for vollies

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Clinical nurse manager Vicky Besier with volunteer Maxine Baird and nurse practitioner Ronnie Taylor.
Camera IconClinical nurse manager Vicky Besier with volunteer Maxine Baird and nurse practitioner Ronnie Taylor. Credit: Supplied

Albany Health Campus is calling for volunteers to support patients in its emergency department and people living with dementia on the wards.

Volunteer co-ordinator Dianne van Clarke said the ED volunteer program started a few months ago, but they needed more volunteers to fill the four-hour shifts, which run seven days a week.

“The other program is supporting patients on the wards including patients who have difficulties with thinking and memory, memory issues, those who are socially isolated and would benefit from a visitor to help pass the time,” Ms van Clarke said.

“In ED, the role includes sitting with patients and their family to provide support and reassurance, providing distractions for children including siblings, supporting people with dementia so they feel less confused. On the wards, the role includes supporting people with their meals, walking with them, reminiscing about their past to improve their wellbeing.”

She said the new volunteers had found the role very rewarding.

While they encourage people from all walks of life to apply, she said there were some criteria that needed to be met to apply for the role.

“The types of people we are looking for are those who are fit enough to walk with someone and be able to push a wheelchair,” she said. “Those who have good communication skills, have respect for the beliefs, values and culture of others.

“The volunteers for ED need to be comfortable in this type of environment, so it’s also about being able to remain calm and also to have a friendly, outgoing disposition.”

Volunteers will take part in a two-day workshop to equip them with the skills needed on March 11 and 18.

Applications are available at the hospital reception or by emailing ahc.volunteers@health.wa.gov.au.

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