We talked last time about our local food pantry, Lake Cares, and there are many more non-profits you can get involved with right in your county (see the list in Monday’s post). Today I want to talk about volunteering in hospitals.
It seems like common sense, but hospitals don’t just need medical professionals for their patients. Many hospital patients are there in recovery, stuck in a small room with nothing to do and not much company. Volunteers who work in patient life services or with pet therapy help make these patients’ stay far more enjoyable and may even help speed their recovery. Lake County has several main hospitals, all with opportunities to volunteer in various capacities.
Like most hospitals, volunteers at the Waterman must first pass a background check, undergo training before they begin, and participate in an annual education class. While the hospital’s website is vague about what services volunteers perform, they do say that each volunteer is granted a free meal for every four hours of service, free flu vaccinations, and access to their Conry CREATION Health fitness center. To learn more about volunteering, call 352, 253, 3333, ext. 4571 any time from 8:00 a.m. though 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
This hospital has several locations and provides a list of areas where they need volunteers, including the emergency department, patient care units, pet therapy, their information desk, and shuttle services. To find out more, call 352-394-4071, ext. 8771.
These hospitals offer similar volunteer opportunities, including working in their thrift shops. Volunteers also work the patient floors, in the waiting rooms, the snack bar, and possibly in the ambulatory surgery unit. Both hospitals provide the No One Dies Alone (NODA) program as well, in which volunteers remain with patients who are dying and have no others attending them. This opportunity requires special training and a background check. To learn more about volunteering with Leesburg Regional Medical center, call 352-323-5060, or 352-323-5020 for their NODA program. To learn more about volunteering at The Villages, call 352-751-8176 or 352-874-3593 for their NODA program.
Information is also available at each hospital’s website (follow the link in the hospital’s name).