Victoria Hospital launches Volunteer for Healthcare Programme
Victoria Hospital formally launched its “Volunteer for Healthcare” programme” designed specifically for students looking for an opportunity to partner with healthcare professionals while supporting patients and families in a healthcare environment. Volunteer positions are available in selected departments at the hospital, each with the goal of enhancing, engaging and motivating the volunteer for the future while improving the patient and family experience.
Assistant Director of HR, Elena Plummer, said though volunteerism has existed at Victoria Hospital for quite some time management saw the need to create a proper structure to the programme for the mutual benefit of the hospital and the volunteer.
“We have a number of objectives for this Volunteer for Healthcare delivery programme at the Victoria Hospital. One, we want to provide volunteers with a meaningful work experience and the opportunity to develop new skills. Two, we want to enhance and motivate the volunteers and that is why our focus is on young persons, although all persons are welcome. Three, we want to assist and guide interested persons in fulfilling their career goals.”
Danielle Gordon, who currently teaches at the St. Joseph’s Convent, is a former volunteer at the Ezra Long Laboratory at Victoria Hospital. She was instrumental in creating the database for postmortems in Saint Lucia and also assisted in developing the inventory structure for the blood bank and Ezra Long Laboratory. Danielle has a degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Biology and is a specialist in Microsoft Office Word, Access and Excel. She had encouraging words for other volunteers.
“I think we should always give back to the places that have given us a lot. Saint Lucia, this is where my foundation is. Although I have gone away to school, I have come back and I think I have to give back and that’s why I opted to give back to Ezra Long Laboratory.
“I also volunteered at the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force where I did the exhibits submission database for them where we have the storage of exhibits being tracked. So it’s always important to give back to where you’ve started.”
Senior Pharmacist at the Victoria Hospital, Abraham Weeks, is part of the management team that helped create the structure for the Volunteer for Healthcare programme. He said the programme grew out of a need to contribute to society as part the hospital’s corporate-social responsibility as the leading healthcare institution on island.
“This initiative was led by our illustrious Executive Director, Mrs. Jeanette Hughes and she saw the need that we all saw. We are moving to a new hospital, there is a need for human resource, so we’re looking towards the future. Of course, those persons will also help us with the immediate move but the goal is the future. We want to create professionals who care about people and who care about the delivery of healthcare. So the programme is structured in such a way to expose young persons and persons who volunteer to many aspects of healthcare delivery, professionalism, work ethics and a number of different areas.”
Volunteer positions are available in the following areas: • Pharmacy
At the end of the volunteer period participants will be given a Certificate of Volunteerism, certifying that they have volunteered for a specified period at the Victoria Hospital, and listing the areas in which the participant has gained experience.
Volunteers may use participation in this programme, along with their Certificate of Volunteerism, towards meeting experience requirements for various other opportunities that may arise.
The Volunteer for Healthcare programme was officially launched on Tuesday September 6. Interested persons can contact the Victoria Hospital for more information.
Danielle Gordon, a staunch believer in the benefits of being a volunteer.