Friday, September 9, 2016

Volunteering is Good for You

Spotlight on the Trinitas Volunteers Department

Recent research has indicated that serving others might be the essence of good health, helping to ward off loneliness, depression and possibly even lowering blood pressure. With those kinds of rewards, it's no wonder around 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization over the past couple of years in the United States!

Volunteerism At Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Volunteers at Trinitas Regional Medical Center are an important part of our hospital family. These dedicated individuals donate their time and efforts to supplement and extend the activities of our employees.

The Volunteer program at Trinitas helps to hold down escalating healthcare costs as we continue to offer the highest quality service to our patients and community.

In 2015, our 309 volunteers, ranging from 14 to 95 years of age, provided 52,018 hours of service to the hospital, and volunteered in over 52 different departments.  One of our volunteers has been here for 32 years! In total, they have donated 716 years of service.

The Role Of A Volunteer: Patient Care
Volunteers supplement our employees in many ways: transporting patients, escort service, comforting and entertaining patients within the hospital through several programs, such as Spirit of Service and  Reach Out and Read.

Elder Life Program (HELP)
This program was created in 2013. It is designed to prevent delirium (acute confusion) by keeping hospitalized older patients oriented to their surroundings. This is done by promoting activities, adequate nutrition and fluids, and a calm environment. Our volunteers offer older patients extra special attention that could ultimately improve their overall hospital stay.

To be involved in this area, volunteers receive specific training and play a key role in carrying out interventions that are created for each patient in the program on an individual basis. To date 63 volunteers have participated.

If you'd like more in depth information about this program, HELP was spotlighted in a previous blog post.

Patients' Families
Volunteers work at the Information Desk and provide visitors with information and assistance as needed. Volunteers also offer families in the Surgical Waiting Room coffee/tea and various reading materials and games, as well as providing limited patient information.

Other non-clinical areas such as Administration, Medical Offices, Finance, the Library, Public Relations, Human Resources and the Lab are also supported by volunteers who assist with clerical and computer skills.

Seniors First
Trinitas Regional Medical Center's commitment to the needs of seniors is reflected in our Seniors First program, which is an all-in-one approach to care for seniors and their caregivers. Volunteers serve as Seniors First escorts, and in helping older patients find their way around the hospital.

Support Services
Volunteers also supplement the paid staff in such service areas as Building Management, Dietary, Warehouse and Transportation.

Community Outreach
Many volunteers are recruited from local schools and colleges focusing on the specific needs of the Hospital. In addition, agreements with such programs as: Community Work Experience (Welfare), Union County College and various others provide work experience through community outreach.

Our volunteers also assist in Health Fairs, Screening Programs, and other public advocacy efforts.

Patient Liason
Volunteers visit patients to welcome them to the medical center. They also advise patients as to how to register their concerns regarding any unmet needs.  Volunteers also provide blankets, ice water, and reading materials. This program began in 2009, and 186 volunteers to date have participated.

Animal Assisted Activities Program
Trinitas also offers special volunteer program that offers patients visits by specially trained animals!

* The Morris & Charlotte Rudner Memorial Award is presented to an outstanding adult volunteer in memory of Nadine Brechner's (Trinitas Health Foundation) parents
* Janet Memorial Teen Award is presented to an outstanding teen volunteer

Hours Of Operation
The Volunteer Services Office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm. The Information Desk is open 8am-8 pm, Monday through Friday and 9am-8pm Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers are assigned to various areas during their specific hours of operation within the 8am-8pm daily schedules. An added benefit is that all Trinitas volunteers receive free, on-site parking as well as free lunch each day they work!

How To Become A Volunteer
To become a volunteer, stop by the Volunteer Office to pick up an application, fill it out and return it in the postage paid envelope. You may also phone the Volunteer Office to request an application at