Aug 18
Volunteers Needed For New Program At Orange Health Service

Applications are invited from people interested in volunteering for Orange Health Service’s new Volunteer Inpatient Program (VIP).

The new and innovative model supports older people in hospital with dementia or patients who experience confusion during their hospital stay. A small number of volunteers have already applied to be a part of the program; however more volunteers are needed to develop the program to its full potential.

Orange Health Service is fortunate to already have over 300 volunteers giving their valuable time to a variety of services including the Hospital Auxiliary, Cancer Services, Wayfinders, the Blue Ladies and Men, and the Children’s ward Grandparents Group. Orange Health Service is very grateful and appreciative of all of their volunteers, who play an important role in contributing to a positive patient experience.

Volunteering has many benefits. Apart for the satisfaction experienced from helping others, volunteering is also a way of learning and gaining new skills and developing new friendships.

Jenny MacDouall, President of the Blue Ladies and Men Volunteers has joined the VIP and encourages others to do the same.

“Volunteering gives me a special feeling of fulfilment. It’s great to go home after a shift knowing that in some small way I have made a difference to a patients time in hospital,” she said.

 Orange Health Service hopes to recruit a significant number of volunteers for the VIP program. Successful applicants will be provided with initial training and ongoing support to ensure confidence for volunteers and safety for patients.

The aim of the program is to improve the overall hospital experience for people with dementia or other memory and thinking problems when they are admitted to hospital.  Volunteers will provide one-on-one support aimed at assisting those experiencing dementia or confusion to feel more relaxed. In addition volunteers provide assistance to patients who require help with eating and drinking.

The VIP team includes Leanne Casey, Director of Nursing and Midwifery as Executive Sponsor of VIP, Michael Ryan, VIP Coordinator, Trish Merchant, Aged Care Clinical Nurse Consultant, Ann McAlister, Acting Nursing Unit Manger of the Medical Ward and staff of the Medical Ward. The team are enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with volunteers. They value the support given to patients as well as recognising the value of volunteers complementing the current care provided.

Volunteers are expected to participate in the program for at least a few hours each week, however  specific days and times will be flexible.

Those interested in taking part in this volunteer program are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of the Volunteer Inpatient Program, Michael Ryan on 6369 2172 or email michael.ryan@health.nsw.gov.au for further information and an application package.