If you have volunteers come to your NICU, what do you have them do? My hospital's volunteer services has 5-6 people who want to volunteer in our NICU (we already have 3-4 regular volunteers). (21 NICU beds, 8 step down bed unit).
Right now, our volunteers spend a lot of time doing Healthcare Assistant (think CNA) tasks, while the HCAs hang out at the team center and surf the internet. The volunteers sometimes hold babies, especially NAS kiddos, but not a lot. They do our NICU laundry - baby clothes, etc. I would love to use volunteers as much as I can - who doesn't love free labor! I just want to be able to have something for them to do!
Making up the info/little welcome packages parents get or restocking tea and coffee in parent area. Greeting visitors and helping parents mind young siblings.
What kind of "CNA" tasks are they doing? If they are not licensed personnel, they should not be doing medical tasks. That could get the hospital in a lot of trouble with the Joint Commission or DOH.
We had @least one volunteer who hated to sit still; she helped the unit assitants and ward clerks--ran labs, went to Central for equipment, sometimes cleaned equipment, restocked linen and supply carts. As she got older, and had health problems, the clerks had her do busy work in the office--tore labels apart, put admin charts together. She had been a Marine in WWII; when she died, she left us a legacy scholarship
The other volunteers were all cuddlers; they held and comforted babies, feeding stable ones, and changing diapers when necessary.
Our hospital assistants were always busy!
Our Healthcare Assistants do not do patient care ever. Of course, even if our HCAs did, we would never let volunteers do medical tasks. They do a lot of stocking, laundry, putting together admit packets, emptying hampers, cleaning, etc.
Are there educational projects they can help with? ... such as putting packets of handouts together for an upcoming class .... or making orientee notebooks ... or taking down the stuff on a bulletin board and replacing it with new stuff ... etc.
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