For Hometown news
PORT ST. LUCIE -- The St. Lucie Medical Center Auxiliary has successfully established and implemented a new program at the hospital.
The volunteer patient representative program is a service with a mission that is a bit different from most volunteer services. This program is designed to interact with patients and their families at the hospital.
"The auxiliary is excited regarding the success of the new program as we conclude our first year of operation," said Maryann Prell, chairwoman of the new program.
Volunteers explain various hospital programs that are available to patients. Ms. Prell said it is a wonderful experience to just sit next to an emotionally, concerned or lonely patient or family member.
"We may hold their hand and just listen to what they have to say. We never give advice, but we have experienced that the simple act of verbalizing, to a non-judgmental listener, often brings clarity and peace of mind to the patient," she said.
Patients often share with volunteers little problems they do not want to bother the staff with, i.e. squeaks, door noises in the hall, too dark, too light or their room not being a comfortable temperature. The volunteer can take care of these problems right away.
"These types of concerns maybe minute, but we realize no one wants to be in the hospital, but while they are at our hospital, we want them to be as comfortable as possible," she said.
For more information or to volunteer, call (772) 335-4000, Ext. 3106.