Your Questions Answered – Volunteering at Peace Harbor

April 23, 2022 — In this column, experts at PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center address current health issues and topics impacting our amazing Florence community. We hope you find it informative. If you have any suggestions for topics, please send them to Dr. Willy Foster at [email protected]. 

For our third article in this series, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Karin Guy discusses the volunteer opportunities at Peace Harbor that are available for members of the Florence community. 

National Volunteer Week began on April 18, and organizations throughout our country are celebrating and thanking the many volunteers who make such a positive difference in our communities. 

PeaceHealth is one of those many non-profits with dedicated volunteers who perform a multitude of tasks, from aiding those in the hospital to providing relief to family with loved ones on hospice.  

I recently asked our hospice volunteers why they volunteer. Some joined because of a prior experience with a loved one on hospice, and they wanted to give back. Some see that giving a break to a family member can make that person’s day just a little easier. Or the volunteer is at their best when having a conversation, allowing the patient to just enjoy the moment and not focus on their illness. 

The last two years have been unusual, to say the least, but throughout the ongoing crisis, our volunteers remained committed to supporting our organization, team and community. For our hospice volunteers, many of them patiently waited until they could return to the bedside of a patient, relieve a spouse or adult child who needed a break, or return to our office to create beautiful floral arrangements or to do check-in calls for our patients. 

Our volunteers were faced with a new normal of getting the COVID-19 vaccines, being fit-tested for N95 masks, wearing additional personal protective equipment like eye protection, and taking additional safety training. 

We applaud all our volunteers who stayed with us on this two-year roller coaster ride, and we are so happy to have them back helping our patients, families and team. We are truly grateful for the support of our volunteers!

As COVID-19 restrictions are eased in our communities, now is a great time to join our group of volunteers at Peace Harbor. For hospice, we are currently looking for volunteers who are veterans who may want to support another veteran. We are also always in need of more volunteers who would like to provide companionship or respite to our hospice patients and families. Other opportunities at Peace Harbor include gift shop and front desk volunteers.  

One does not need prior experience — just a desire to help and be present — and we will provide all of the necessary training.  

If you can't volunteer, then I ask that you support all volunteers and give a huge round of applause for each and every day that they give their time and effort to enrich lives. As non-profit organizations, we truly could not do the great work we do without our volunteers.

If you are interested in joining the hospital volunteer team, volunteer applications are at the Peace Harbor gift shop or front desk. If you are interested in becoming a hospice volunteer, please call me at 541-997-3418.

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