PAPHR looking for volunteers

Jodi Schellenberg
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Volunteers are needed to help patients in the Prince Albert area.

The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is looking for volunteers in many different sectors throughout the region.

“We have several different opportunities people can get involved in,” said Sonya Jahn, director of Volunteer Services for PAPHR.

One of the areas they need volunteers in is the Meals on Wheels program, she said.

“We are looking at potentially retirees that could give a helping hand, maybe shift workers, couples or corporations that might be willing to help out,” Jahn sais. “They can volunteer once a month, twice a month or even three times a month. It depends on what their availability is.”

Meals on Wheels is not just about the meal being delivered to those who need it.

“Not only are you bringing a hot meal to people who are shut in, it is also a way to enable these folks to stay at home for as long as possible,” Jahn said. “The meal is definitely a great benefit to these home care clients but the visit that takes place as well … it is also that ray of sunshine to homebound clients.”

They would like volunteers not only for Prince Albert, but also in Birch Hills and Kinistino.

Another volunteer opportunity is as a patient navigators for day surgery patients.

“Patient navigators are basically folks that assist with patients when they are first coming in to be admitted to have surgical procedures,” Jahn said. “They assist the patient to make sure they are at the right place at the right time and to ensure they then go on to their next step to be prepared for their surgical procedure.”

These volunteers are needed for once a week and there are a couple different shift options.

“For those people who are early risers and would like to have volunteer work taken care of at the beginning of the day, they can volunteer from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. or a 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift,” Jahn said.

The volunteers are a huge benefit to the surgical process, Jahn said.

“We have volunteers who come in in the early morning and they are so amazing,” Jahn said. “It really has made a remarkable difference and certainly not only assisting the patients but also help to support the nurses and the physicians in the whole surgical process.”

The third area they need volunteers for is the emergency department volunteer navigators.

“This is another new initiative -- it is to help support patients in the emergency department,” Jahn said. “With that we want to support and guide the patients and their families to help ensure that patients have the best experience possible while waiting to be seen in the emergency department.”

The volunteers provide navigational assistance to patients and visitors in the emergency department, which helps alleviate wait times and interruptions at the reception desk, admitting desk and the triage station.

“Sometimes if there has been an accident and families are waiting to come and visit their loved one in the emergency department the volunteers can help to navigate families to see their loved one and assist the staff wherever possible as well as the patients,” Jahn said.

They are looking for volunteers willing to come in once a week for two different shifts; either the 9 a.m. to noon or the noon to 3 p.m. shift.

“The patients love having the volunteers there,” Jahn said. “It is nice for them to know that they have someone they can talk to, that they themselves are guided to the right location that they need to go to see the nursing staff.

The lab services in the South Hill Mall are also looking for volunteers to provide navigational assistance to the patients coming in for lab work and they are still looking for more peer navigators.

“That is coming along but we are really looking for additional folks to come on board for that,” Jahn said.

All the volunteers are trained prior to beginning the volunteer experience, Jahn said. The amount of training “depends on the type of volunteer work they are doing.”

The health region is grateful for all the work the volunteers do for patients in the region.

“I’m truly grateful and appreciate all of the work of our volunteers throughout the health region,” Jahn said. “Without our volunteers many of the services couldn’t be provided without their assistance so we are very grateful always to all our volunteers.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Volunteer Services for PAPHR

Geographic location: Birch Hills, Kinistino, South Hill Mall

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