Inpatient volunteering: Opportunities to help
Jan 18, 2022
Thank you to all Lakeland team members who have dedicated time and energy to volunteering on the inpatient units the past few months. This support continues to make a difference for other team members and patients.
If you are a Lakeland team member who can help, please choose from shifts at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph or Lakeland Hospital Niles: 1:00-3:00 p.m., 4:00-6:00 p.m., or 6:00-8:00 p.m. Sign up for a shift here
Read on to hear from a few team members who have had firsthand experience volunteering on these units:
What is your why behind volunteering?
Paul: It’s more like why not, as far as I’m concerned. Lakeland has been very good to me, and, a few years ago, Spectrum Health saved my daughter’s life. I’m glad to give something back and hopefully make things a little easier for the care teams.
Jon: I know units are overwhelmed with extra work due to the number of patients and their acuity. I used to work in the clinical setting, so I know a little bit of what those hard days feel like. The need is there.
Gwen: I work in Lakeland University and HR, and when we were hearing of issues, we knew we had to help. We couldn’t leave anyone adrift. I was nervous in the beginning! But taking some things off the to-do lists of the caregivers during my shift is something that I hope helps them.
How does it make you feel thinking about team members or patients you’ve helped, even if it’s been in small ways?
Paul: I’ve been fortunate to have one-on-one time with patients as I help them get discharged. That 10 to 15 minutes wheeling them through the hallways and down the elevators is a great time to connect. I learn their stories and find out how much we have in common. It makes me so grateful. There’s no way you can’t come away from those conversations and not feel good. It’s good for the heart and soul to brighten somebody’s day.
Jon: Sometimes a clinical team member will go by and see me doing a task that they are surprised about. They always show their appreciation, and I hope it encourages the nurses, doctors, and aides.
Gwen: Patients seem surprised and kind of pleased when they learn that I’m a manager of a department that has nothing to do with direct patient care. It shows them everyone is pitching in and helping out, because these are unusual times. It helps them see we’re trying to do our very best. Even when someone is unhappy getting wheeled out, I listen and hope that my listening makes a small difference for them.
Thank you to everyone who has given time and energy by volunteering in the inpatient units!