In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses the many ways we can be of assistance to hospitals in our communities.
Plenty of hospitals operate on a bare-bones budget, no pun intended! If, like so many civic-minded folks, you would like to help a local hospital by volunteering, here are a few tips to make the process go smoothly. Because you’ll be around ill and infirm people, most hospitals have a more extensive screening process for volunteers. They just want to make sure their helpers are qualified, have no communicable illnesses, and can handle the unique atmosphere of a busy health care facility.
• Decide which of your local hospitals you would like to help. Some volunteers are only interested in working at nonprofit facilities. If that’s your preference, be sure to ask each hospital you call what their status is.
• Ask about the steps to take in order to become a volunteer at the facility. You will probably be asked about your areas of interest, background, age, experience in health care (it’s fine if you have none, they just want to know about your skills), and available hours.
• Download or pick up any application materials and attend required orientation meetings and classes. Most hospitals, for example, will require you to have a tuberculosis (TB) test, at their expense, before you can volunteer.
• Attend training sessions for your particular volunteer duties and be ready to take part in the exciting world of health care.
Volunteering at a hospital, in any capacity, is one of the most rewarding things you can do to help your community. Many hospital volunteers keep at it for years and years. Take a walk through any major city hospital and randomly ask some of the volunteers how long they’re been there. You will be surprised at the longevity of service. That’s because the tasks are so rewarding, hospital volunteers who have found their niche don’t want to leave!
Be good to each other, and consider volunteering at your local hospital!