Volunteers Help Support Patient Safety and Recovery

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Published on March 17, 2016

Volunteers Help Support Patient Safety and Recovery

Learn more about volunteering.

VolunteersA hospital can be a scary place. Many patients are anxious when left alone in their rooms. Many outpatients are highly stressed when they arrive for testing and treatment, and need help locating outpatient services. At Concord Hospital, trained volunteers who spend time with patients offer personal attention and help relieve stress.

During Fiscal Year 2015, our Volunteer Services Department, working with our Therapeutic Arts and Activity Services, added more volunteers and services for patients and their family members to increase quality of care, satisfaction and patient safety. Nearly 100 direct service volunteers provided more than 19,000 patient visits through August 2015.

Volunteers provide a wide range of services, from sharing books, games, therapeutic dog visits and music with patients to waiting with family members during surgery and guiding outpatients to medical offices. They also support patients receiving cancer, cardiac and elder care and even offer spiritual relief.

Volunteers not only offer a diversion, but help support patient safety and recovery. Studies show that patients are less likely to fall when someone is in the room with them. Studies also show that if patients are well hydrated and eating, which volunteers encourage, they are less likely to experience delirium; and if encouraged to be mobile, they experience less loss of cognitive and physical functioning, may make a faster recovery and be able to return to their home rather than a nursing home.

Concord Hospital volunteers remind patients of the people they are, rather than the patients they have become. That helps most patients think about their immediate future – going home and resuming their normal life.