They are there to welcome you, take your hand and let you know everything will be okay, and one of the first to bring you flowers to welcome a new baby. Volunteers are one of the essential components to delivering personal care at hospitals. At Hillcrest Hospital South, you’ll find a dozen or so volunteers giving their time on any given day. It has been said time is one of the most precious commodities we have, something you can never get back. Volunteers give their own time to make the time patients and their families spend at Hillcrest South even better.
Dan Johnson, 81, and Norma Smith, 70 are self-described “people-people”. They love people and they especially love helping people. Anyone walking into the hospital is greeted by the volunteers who sit at this desk. For Dan and Norma, managing the information desk means being ready with an answer to almost any question. They can direct you where you need to go, give you the room number of a patient you are visiting, and let you know where the Gift Shop and Café are located. For the last two years, the people who walk through the doors at Hillcrest South are the reason Norma volunteers, “I enjoy meeting people, watching people, and just helping people.”
Since the hospital opened in 1999, Dan has been sitting at the information desk three days a week. For Dan, the reason he gives of his time is simple, “Meeting people I guess”. Of course, you never know who you are going to meet, which keeps it interesting. The day we visited Dan and Norma, 7 month old Hope was there with her caretaker from a local zoo to discuss pet therapy for patients. A day in the life of a volunteer sometimes means you have to be able to expect the unexpected.
With only a week of experience under her belt, Diane Bjornsson, 58, is the newest volunteer at Hillcrest South. She works in the surgery waiting area, meeting families and connecting them with physicians for updates. For the hours she manages the waiting area, she also has a chance to get to know the families. Diane connects with patient’s families to make sure everyone is comfortable and has found in her first few days, by volunteering, those families are also giving something to her, “I love to volunteer. The people give back to you. It’s a totally different experience than having a job.”
For Judy McIntosh, 70, volunteering in the Hillcrest South Gift Shop is a social experience, both with Hillcrest South visitors and other volunteers. With a background in retail sales, Judy has enjoyed various parts of her job including managing the cash register, product displays, and flower orders and delivery. Judy’s job is a chance to help the people who visit Hillcrest South, as well as connect with new friends, “I really enjoy talking to people and being with the girls I work with.”
As we honor our volunteers who so gladly give of their time, we want you to know how much we appreciate the work you do every day. Thank you for giving our patients another reason to choose Hillcrest Hospital South!
If you would like more information on volunteer opportunities at Hillcrest Hospital South,
call 918.294.4865 and ask to speak with Pam Knight.