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Archive for May, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Volunteers Make A Difference



Volunteers Making a Difference




     They may bring you a glass of ice water, help you with a craft or just sit by your side and keep you company; they are the many volunteers of the Brandon Regional Health Centre.


     For over 15 years Claire Terry has been volunteering at the hospital. If you tell her she is making a difference she simply says “I get back more than I give.”       And that is why she keeps coming back year after year. These days you find her in Diagnostic Imaging, escorting patients to Ultrasound, CT, X-ray or where ever they have to be. She is so good at what she does Claire even helps to train other volunteers in this area which is all part of the volunteer services program.  When you sign up to be a volunteer you take part in a couple hours of orientation and then you are teamed up with another more experienced volunteer “learning the ropes.” 


     Barb Ross is the Manger of Volunteer Services for the Brandon Regional Health Centre. She takes care of bringing on new volunteers, looking after their training and placing them in an area where they will feel comfortable. It’s up to Barb to schedule the 513 registered volunteers.


   “Everyday someone remarkable walks through the door and it could be a retired clergyman, a community member, a former health care worker who wants to give back, or a student wanting some experience in this field,” says Ross.


     Brittany Panko is a university student and has been helping out in the Breast screening area. She wants to be a radiation therapist and thought volunteering in a hospital would give her an idea of what it would be like.


     “Everyone is nice to work with I enjoy coming in for 2 hours every Thursday morning and helping out,” say Brittany.


      On any given day there are 15 to 21 volunteers on site working in various areas like Rehabilitation Services, the Gift Shop or Secondary Surgical Recovery.  That is were you will find Pete Stevenson. For the past 3 and half years he has been kept busy helping in this area. Pete is considered one of the team. He says he finds great satisfaction in helping out as well as working with a great staff and meeting new people.


      “I wanted to give something back, I’m retired now and life has treated me well so I wanted to give back,” says Pete.


     One area where it’s hard to pick up a volunteer shift is in the Gift Shop. Barb Ross says even though there is 17 shifts a week to fill they don’t have much trouble getting help.


    Gwenda Forrest takes a shift once a week and has been a hospital volunteer for 30 years.  “I used to work in a bank so helping out as a cashier is a great fit.”


     Ellen Rutherford will be 88 years young this summer.  Some of her fellow residents at Lions Manor can’t believe she’s still volunteering. Two mornings a week for 2 hours Ellen does clerical work for 400 Medicine, GI Unit and Human Resources.


    “I am making up for the times when I couldn’t volunteer,” she says.  “I really enjoy what I am doing and the company, I like having coffee with the younger volunteers and enjoy the conversations and listening to their stories.”


    Whether it’s a clerical role or a comforting role, they all have a place and a purpose.  Barb Ross says it’s the volunteers who provide that “little extra” that busy staff don’t always have time to do.  So when you see them quietly going about their work at the hospital, take the time to say “Thank You.”




The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.  ~Terri Guillemets

Posted by Regional Health Authority @ 18:33 | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

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