Volunteers move to more hands-on roles
Hospitals and healthcare services are becoming more appreciative of the work done by unpaid workers and find it is rewarding for all involved, writes Mardi Chapman.
A nationwide army of hospital volunteers has chosen to step out of the kitchen, ignoring traditional auxiliary roles in the hospital kiosk or behind a cafe trolley to take on more direct, patient support roles. Whether it's reassuring patients and families in the emergency department, providing social or peer support in a cancer ward, feeding the elderly or cuddling infants in a nursery, volunteers are adding some comfort and care to daunting hospital environments. When Robyn Jewell heard a volunteer program was being trialled in Canberra Hospital's emergency department last year, she was...
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