Volunteers on your floors?

  1. Hi all,

    Do you have volunteers on the floors where you work? If so, what floor do you work on and what do volunteers try to help with? Are they a help or hinderance?


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    About philosophical

    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 64; Likes: 6
    Specialty: B.S. Psychology


  3. by   RNperdiem
    Where I work, volunteers staff the ICU family waiting room front desk. They answer the phone, assist families and coordinate family visitation with the ICU's . They are a great help there.
    I have never heard of a volunteer doing direct patient care, so they do not affect my daily work.
  4. by   carrie13
    There were volunteers on the floor where I did one of my clinicals. They escorted visitors to patients rooms, helped the secretary with shredding, filing, making copies, etc. Did supply runs if transport was not available, helped to re-stock supply rooms or linen carts.

    I think how much they helped depended on the volunteer. There was one woman that had volunteered on the same floor for years and knew the routine and what to do. There were others that needed lots of direction and got in the way more.
  5. by   RN1989
    I think it depends on the individual volunteers whether or not they are a help vs hindrance. I've had elderly people volunteer who are afraid to leave the station, others go straight to rooms and sit and talk with the pts who are running the staff ragged to give us a break. I really hate the cutesy candystriper type who are easily distracted by males/females and can't keep their eyes and conversations to themselves - especially bad when you have young EMTs working as tele techs. A lot of the volunteers I've seen are afraid to answer phones but they do great if you give them specific instructions. Getting ice and water is fabulous for them to do as well as making chart packs for admits, filing, cleaning up around the station, cleaning the kitchen and keeping fresh coffee on. Some have even been good enough to answer call lights and then come to the nurse with a list of requests out of their scope. If they don't get an actual orientation they seem kinda clueless.
  6. by   justavolunteer
    I can definitely attest to at least one volunteer on a pt unit. Me! I don't do direct pt care (lots of things require a nursing license & the regulatory agencies tend to fuss about that). I can get water for pts, bring them personal items, do transport etc. I can also run to the central supply area for bedside commodes, etc for pts. I have helped bring supplies to nurses when they are with a pt. and realize they need something (more linen, towels, etc.). I have helped nurses turn pts to position them differently in bed or bathe them sometimes. I have occasionally had to get supplies or equipment quickly when pts. suddenly go bad. I have also helped with some frantic runs to the ICU when unstable pts. need to be moved quickly. As for how helpful I am, the nurses all say they appreciate me greatly. I have occasionally had a nurse give me a hug in appreciation after an especially wild day.
    Something like that sums up her feelings better than any speech could!
    I have learned to greatly appreciate nurses, CNA's, etc., and all the hard work they do! After my volunteering, just let someone say that nurses have an easy job. That will start an argument with me real quick!
  7. by   dilleweed
    I'm a volunteer in a transitional care unit in our children's hospital. I get to play with the babies/kids, change diapers, help the CNA's bathe or change the bed sheets, talk with parents (just socializing), bottle or spoon feed, and whatever else they ask me to do. I also like to follow the nurses around and ask lots of questions about what/why/who/where... they are awesome and I have learned so much!
  8. by   PamUK
    We have volunteers at my hospital but they are not allowed to do work that a paid member of staff should be doing. So they can't feed patients or help in any way with patient care and they cant do paperwork or admin duties... our unions would have a fit! But the type of work they do is directing or escorting visitors or going to the shop for a patient or providing patients with extra drinks (but aren't allowed to help them drink) They do not get in our way at all because they have a paid co-ordinator who will supervise them, especially at first until they know their limitations. I dont think I would like volunteers who helped with a paid persons job - too much responsibility if things go wrong because of what they have done. Having said all that, they do a brilliant job and our hospital wouldn't be without them.
  9. by   Ms Kylee
    On my floor, they pass the water pitcher, deliver the cards for the patients, and help the patients with their menus if they need it. They also visit with the patients. They're a great help. So are the RN students. There are days I'd still be working at midnight if it weren't for the students.
    Last edit by Ms Kylee on Jan 2, '08 : Reason: Another typo.
  10. by   Faeriewand
    Quote from Kylee45
    On my floor, they pass the water pitcher, deliver the cards for the patients, and help the patients with their menus if they need it. They also visit with the patients. They're a great help. So are the RN students. There are days I'd still be workiing at midnight if it weren't for the students.
    It's nice to know that students are appreciated. Thank you

    I visited a child with leukemia and there was a volunteer there helping her make an art project. I thought that was nice to keep her entertained because her mother had to work full time and couldn't be with her. :redpinkhe