Supportive Care volunteers provide practical, emotional and social support to patients, families and carers in the Supportive and Palliative Care Unit at Mount Druitt Hospital and on C71 Medical Oncology at Blacktown Hospital.
They provide a warm and reassuring welcome to new patients on the ward or unit, and offer support, such as a cup of tea, a vase for flowers, a relaxing hand massage, a tour of the ward/unit, or provide a neutral listening ear during difficult times.
The service ensures that families are supported as well, and can assist with activities such as mindfulness colouring books, diffusers with essential oils, CD players and music, hand knitted rugs, memory kits for children and providing access to iPads or card and board games.
“The role of our volunteers is to make a patient’s stay as comfortable as possible,” said Mount Druitt Hospital palliative care volunteer coordinator, Kylie Clark.
Volunteers attend several days of training so they know how to best support patients or carers who are distressed.
“We hope all families, carers and patients feel able to ask a volunteer for assistance at any time during their stay; they will always do their best to assist,” said Kylie.
The service also trains Biography volunteers who are trained to capture patients’ life story.
“They sit with patients to listen and record their stories and then transcribe and edit the story,” said Kylie.
“Photos are included and at the end the service, they print and bind the story for the patient and family to enjoy.
“This is a meaningful and lasting legacy which assists patients to process their experiences and pass this on to loved ones.”
In early 2022, 12 Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospital (BMDH) Supportive and Palliative Care volunteers were trained to support the service.
To express your interest in becoming a volunteer, please visit https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Blacktown-Mount-Druitt-Hospital/Support-Us/Volunteer