Volunteers help at HighlandPublished 7:00am Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Highland Community Hospital’s volunteer program includes 15 participants, most of them women.
Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Borland said the current program began at Highland in Oct. of 2012, after a discussion with hospital administrator Mark Stockstill.
During her career, Borland worked at a number of nearby hospitals, including Highland, Slidell Memorial, Northshore and Hancock Medical.
Borland has more than 25 years of professional health care experience, but after retiring she wanted to continue to help the community through the medical field.
In the future, Borland hopes to double the number of volunteers at the hospital.
Hospital volunteers help with a variety of tasks, such as greeting people at the door, directing patients to the proper department, pushing wheel chairs for patients and helping patients in need as they come into the facility. Volunteers also help out in departments such as physical therapy, surgery, labor and delivery, medical records, human resources and with completing special projects, Borland said.
“They are really kind of all over the hospital,” Borland said.
Most volunteers donate four hours a day once a week, but some are at the hospital two to three times a week.
The program includes training for participants. Borland said participants undergo the same background checks as paid staff at the hospital. Also, volunteers undergo orientation and regular training sessions.
At least once a year, if not more, program participants also hear from speakers or sit in on presentations that provide updated information about the medical field. Topics include wheel chair safety, how to conduct patient rounds and information on identity theft.
While most of the volunteers are women, there are two men who donate their time. There is also a married couple that volunteers at the hospital.
Borland enjoys her time spent at the hospital because it is a rewarding avenue to meet people in the community and help others.
One of the volunteers has been donating her time at Picayune hospitals for the past 16 years.
Audrey Lee and her husband moved to Picayune about 26 years ago when her husband retired.
When her husband was brought to then Crosby Memorial Hospital for cancer treatment, he remarked on the kindness of the volunteers.
It was not until after her husband passed that Lee considered becoming a volunteer herself, she said.
Lee said she enjoys volunteering at the hospital because she likes meeting new people and keeping patients in high spirits.
Lee can be found during her shift greeting people as they enter the lobby and directing them to where they need to go.