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Washington Hospital Celebrates National Volunteer Week

April 17, 2012

Celebrating People in Action

Every day Washington Hospital counts on volunteers to provide added support for patients, visitors and families. Whether it's greeting a visitor, comforting a patient or other countless duties, volunteers provide that added something special that patients, visitors and staff appreciate and value.

National Volunteer Week (April 15-21) is a special opportunity to honor volunteers who devote their time, energy and talent to serving the community. Washington Hospital is fortunate to have a diverse group of more than 600 dedicated people who volunteer their time throughout the year.

Couple Volunteers Together

There are many reasons why people may decide to volunteer, but for longtime Fremont residents Dave and Ellie Scandling, the value of supporting their community hospital is one of the reasons they became volunteers.

"We feel that Washington Hospital is our community's hospital," says Dave. "Our desire is to give back to the community, meet people and serve others."

The Scandling's have been volunteering at Washington Hospital since 2010 and they both enjoy supporting the Hospital staff and community members they come into contact with.

"My wife and I like taking baby photos through the New Born Photography program," says Dave. "Photos create memories and it's great to share a beautiful moment with the parents and the babies."

The Scandling's say that volunteering has heightened their appreciation as to just how important volunteers are to the many facets of the hospital.

"We find volunteering to be a positive experience and we enjoy playing a role in the hospital's success," he says. "When people look at you and say thank you, that's what volunteering is all about."

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

The Scandling's say a good volunteer is accountable to the tasks, really enjoys people, accepts directives from staff and wants to be a quality ambassador for the hospital.

"We've even recruited a friend to volunteer and she really enjoys volunteering her time," adds Dave. "Volunteers play an important role in Washington Hospital's daily operation and we've also made some great friends along the way."

In honor of National Volunteer Week, take time to consider volunteering your time. There are many different types of volunteer opportunities available through the Washington Hospital Service League, and to make it even easier to volunteer, the hospital has implemented a "Random Staffing" program, which enables trained volunteers to go online and choose a time and day that is convenient for them to donate their time.

Volunteers with Washington Hospital's Service League have a number of exciting volunteer opportunities throughout the hospital, including:

  • Baby Photos - Take baby photos for parents who are very happy to see baby's first picture.
  • Patient Feeding - Assist staff with feeding patients who need social interaction, or whose medical condition makes it difficult to feed themselves.
  • Emergency Room - Provide emotional support to patients and their families in the emergency room.
  • Community Health Resource Library - Assist visitors in finding answers to their health-related questions.

Service League volunteers also:

  • Greet patients and visitors
  • Discharge patients
  • Deliver flowers
  • Sell items in the gift shop
  • Keep concerned friends and families updated on patient status
  • Assist at the Radiology Oncology Center
  • Play piano in the main hospital lobby
  • Make puppets for children
  • Take families on tours of the hospital's Birthing Center
  • Act as coaches for patients in Center for Joint Replacement
  • Assist at public lectures and health screenings.

In addition to the Service League's volunteers, Washington Hospital also benefits from the dedication of a number of other vital volunteers, including:

  • Officers of the Washington Hospital Employees' Association (WHEA), who spearhead community projects to help local nonprofit organizations.
  • Hospice Volunteers, who provide a special gift of time by providing support and relief to caregivers of terminally ill patients by helping with tasks, visiting and making phone calls.
  • Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation Volunteers, who provide support to the foundation's many charitable events.
  • The Mended Hearts Board, which organizes educational meetings, lunches and social events for people in the community and the Mended Heart Volunteer Visitors who have had heart surgery and choose to volunteer their time visiting current heart surgery patients and their family members in the hospital.
  • Hospital Chaplains, spiritual care volunteers who provide spiritual counseling and comfort to patients and family members in the hospital.

Become a Volunteer

Prospective volunteers are welcome to attend a monthly volunteer information session at Washington Hospital where they will be informed about current volunteer opportunities and requirements for volunteering. Applications are provided at the information session. Volunteers who meet the health, age and background screening requirements must attend an orientation to learn about the hospital's mandatory safety program.

The next volunteer information meeting will take place on Friday, May 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Rooms A & B, located at 2500 Mowry Ave. (Washington West) in Fremont.

For more information about becoming a Washington Hospital volunteer, call (510) 791-3465 or visit www.whhs.com/volunteer.