From hand massages to driving patients around, more than 300 volunteers dedicate their time and energy to support patients, families, carers and staff across Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).
May 18-24 is National Volunteer Week and although most of our volunteers are staying safe and remaining at home during the pandemic, we want to thank them for their hard work and commitment.
Mount Druitt Hospital Palliative Care volunteer manager Kylie Clark said volunteers make a big difference to patients and their families.
“Our volunteers are amazing and assist with a myriad of tasks that help make the patients’ stay or visit more comfortable,” Kylie said.
“They also help visitors and patients navigate their way through our hospitals and provide a welcoming smile and greeting.”
Westmead Hospital Corporate Services manager Renata Melan is new to her role and unfortunately has not yet met most of the volunteers due to the pandemic, but has many years’ experience working with health volunteers in other roles.
Renata said she is consistently amazed by their passion and commitment to helping patients, staff and community.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the volunteers personally, obviously once they return to their roles, and I look forward to helping them expand and enhance their services for our patients and communities,” she said.
The volunteers provide services to the wards and departments including guiding and transporting patients and visitors within the hospital, helping visitors in the Intensive Care Unit, and providing a regular Justice of the Peace service – just to name a few.
Mount Druitt Hospital Palliative Care nurse unit manager Trish Dalgleish said volunteers bring an extra spark to the patients and families.
“Whether it’s giving a hand massage, a cup of tea or a listening ear they have added an extra dimension of care to the families,” Trish said.
“I can’t wait until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and we have them return to the hospital to provide their invaluable service.”
Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospital volunteers perform an extensive list of tasks and roles including running Mount Druitt Hospital kiosk, with all proceeds raised directly going back into the hospital for vital medical equipment, and running the Mount Druitt Hospital Patient Transport service, providing a free service to transport patients to and from medical appointments including Westmead Hospital.
“Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospital patients are regularly treated to a visit by four-legged friends from the Delta Therapy Dogs and Nepean Therapy Dog who bring smiles and comfort and act as a distraction for some patients,” Kylie added.
“Pastoral Care volunteers visit patients in wards at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals to support their spiritual and emotional needs.”
Other hospital volunteer groups include:
- The knitters and sewing groups who crochet beanies, blankets, teddies and carry bags for medical devices and patients belongings
- Cardiac rehabilitation and intensive care volunteers who provide support for those recovering from serious illness
- Consumer representatives who sit on many committees to ensure the voice of our consumers are heard
- NSW Cancer Council volunteers who provide support and resources for families and patients during their cancer journey.