Five Volunteer Roles that Make a Big Impact on Patient Care at Shore

April 12, 2017

National Volunteer Week is April 23-29

If you're looking for a volunteer opportunity that enables you to make a real difference, look no further than Shore Medical Center.

Shore volunteers are essential to supporting the values of patient-centered care. Thanks in part to its core group of dedicated and compassionate volunteers, in 2013 Shore became the first healthcare organization in New Jersey to be recognized as a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Care Hospital. Planetree designation helps to demystify, personalize and humanize the hospital experience for patients and their visitors.

Here are some of the many volunteer opportunities at Shore that make an impact on the patient experience:

  1. GPS Volunteers:  Navigating through the hospital to find a destination can be challenging. That's where Shore's GPS volunteers come in. Much like the global positioning device that helps people get from point A to point B in a vehicle, GPS volunteers help patients and visitors find their destination in the hospital – but with a personalized touch. Shore's GPS volunteers escort guests from the information desk directly to their location, and back again if desired. Along the way, they may provide comfort and conversation, helping to calm nerves and make a visit less stressful.
  2. Operating Room Liaisons: When patients come to Shore for a surgery, they are often accompanied by family or friends who wait in the surgical reception area for updates. OR liaison volunteers are there to check on the status of surgical patients and update the waiting individuals on the status of their surgery.
  3. Patient and Family Liaisons: On the first day a patient is admitted to Shore Medical Center, a Patient and Family Liaison volunteer will visit them to share nonclinical information and to address any questions or concerns. For example, many do not realize that Shore has patient directed visitation. This means visitation guidelines are developed on a case-by-case basis with patients according to their personal preferences and consideration of their healthcare needs.

    Barbara Deaney is a Patient/Family Liaison volunteer, a role she has held since 2012.  Recently Deaney and her husband Rich moved more than an hour away from Shore Medical Center, but she loves her role so much that she still commits to volunteering every Wednesday. As a former employee, she remains loyal to Shore Medical Center.“I absolutely believe in the Patient/Family Liaison Program and feel strongly about the importance of this position to the patient,”Deaney says.

    “Patient interaction supports Shore Medical Center’s commitment to patient-centered care. Listening to the patient provides an opportunity to personalize and enhance the patient’s experience. I have held a patient’s hand, laughed with them, heard a personal story and yes, even shared a tear or two.”
  4. Thrift Shop Volunteers: Volunteering at one of The Auxiliary of Shore Medical Center thrift shops, located in Somers Point and Marmora, is another great way to make an impact on patient care. Although you may not interact directly with patients, the funds you will help raise as a volunteer amount to approximately $500,000 each year and directly support various hospital initiatives.  This year’s funds will benefit the Cancer Center.
  5. Caregiver Coaches: In November, Shore opened The Center for Family Caregivers in the lower level of the West Zone. The privately funded Center for Family Caregivers utilizes caregiver coaches who volunteer their time to assist family caregivers in finding resources and support in caring for themselves and their loved one. The Center for Family Caregivers is open from 9:30 – 3:30 Monday to Friday.

Shore offers many other volunteer opportunities for people from high school age to seniors. To learn more about becoming a volunteer at Shore Medical Center, call 609-653-3543