Press Release – Waikato District Health Board
Volunteers gifted nearly 33,000 hours to Waikato Hospital this year and many hundreds more gave their time to help patients and visitors to all Waikato District Health Board’s hospitals and continuing care facilities. So to acknowledge that commitment, …Volunteers roles in hospitals celebrated
Volunteers gifted nearly 33,000 hours to Waikato Hospital this year and many hundreds more gave their time to help patients and visitors to all Waikato District Health Board’s hospitals and continuing care facilities.
So to acknowledge that commitment, Waikato DHB will celebrate International Volunteers Day on Monday 5 December but has already taken the opportunity to thank the Waikato Hospital ones at a morning tea earlier this week.
Thames Hospital will thank its more than 100 volunteers with a morning tea on Monday. Other acknowledgements will take place at Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui hospitals and at continuing care facilities at Rhoda Read (Morrinsville) and Matariki (Te Awamutu).
Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo said the 10 per cent turnover in volunteers struck him as low.
“I imagine it is a function of the value placed on the role and the satisfaction and camaraderie that you get from it. I don’t imagine that it’s due to the outstanding terms and conditions of your employment. You are special giving people,” he said to the volunteers in a statement.
Waikato Hospital volunteer co-ordinator Chris Atkinson said volunteers make a significant contribution to the organisation through their gift of time, skills, energy and commitment. (www.waikatodhb.healthnz/volunteering)
“Staff continue to support volunteers to ensure they experience both the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of their volunteer roles,” she said.
Waikato Hospital has 206 volunteers working in a variety of roles.
“The regular and considerable contribution of other not-for-profit community organisations and the contribution of volunteers at our other hospitals is not part of this.
“Volunteers are an important link between our organisation and the community. They can be great advocates for us within their individual networks. The support shown to our organisation by volunteers is one measure of how we are perceived by the general community,” she said.
The 32,960 hours to Waikato Hospital this year is the equivalent of 15.8 fulltime employees equalling a $428,480 “in kind” contribution (based on $13 minimum hourly wage).
“The “monetising” of volunteering poses challenges as many would argue that the essential act of volunteering is far greater than any monetary value we might attach to volunteer time and effort. If you use a median or average wage formula, the contribution in dollar terms is higher.
“Many of our volunteers are behind the scenes doing work that is appreciated by staff but unseen by our organisation as a whole. The true value of volunteers lies in the benefits they bring to our hospital. We view them as the “additional dimension” that brings a sense of comfort and caring to our patients,” said Mrs Atkinson.
“As our population ages volunteering can be regarded as a wonderful way to keep people active and engaged with their communities. Research has shown that people who volunteer lead healthier, happier lives.
“A proportion of our volunteers are actively seeking employment. The number of volunteers in their 40s and 50s has increased, as has the number of volunteers who are new to New Zealand and are seeking work experience. A constrained employment environment will always affect levels of volunteering.
“This year our organisation has seen a growth in volunteer positions that support staff with routine tasks such as making up folders, filing, putting together information packs etc. It makes sense that volunteers are utilised in this way so that staff skills can be maximised elsewhere.
Volunteer Positions and Numbers at Waikato Hospital
• Hospital Hosts 40
• Friends of Emergency Dept 56
• Shuttlebug Drivers 14
• Transit Lounge 7
• Medical Records 4
• Eye Clinic 4
• WaiKids 10
• Memorabilia Volunteers 17
• Laboratory reception 4
• Ward Volunteers 2
• Maxillo-facial Chaperone 1
• Mothercraft Unit 2
• Child Protection Unit 1
• Medical Outpatients 1
• Women’s Assessment Unit 1
• Renal Unit 3
• Cardiac Rehab 1
• Intensive Care Unit 1
• Sleep Lab 1
• Paediatric Diabetes Clinic 1
• OP & RS 1
• Rehab 2
• RSA Gift Bags 1
• Arts Committee Liaison 1
• Integrated Recovery Service 4
• Chaplaincy Assistants &
Chapel Helpers 27