By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Taber Health Centre is looking for volunteers.
“Volunteering is an expression of generosity, compassion, and empathy. It is the act of giving time, skills, and resources to help those in need,” Hilary Holt, coordinator of Volunteer Resources for the Alberta Health Services South Zone, said. “When someone volunteers, they are offering their time and talents to benefit others, without expecting material rewards in return. However, volunteering goes beyond just providing assistance. It is an opportunity to establish connections with people and make a positive impact on a community. When someone volunteers, they have the chance to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, ages, and life stories, broadening their horizons and learning from their experiences. When someone volunteers in a hospital, when patients are not at their best, it offers a chance to truly make a difference in their stay or improve their quality of life.”
Holt says the Taber Health Center has been actively recruiting for volunteers and creating programs since before she began as Volunteer Coordinator in May 2022. Previous to working in Taber, Holt served with Volunteer Resources in AHS since 2016 and has been with AHS since 1995.
Most volunteer placements with the Taber Health Center, Holt says, would range from one to three hours, but shifts vary during the weekdays, in the evenings, and on the weekends.
“Volunteers would fill a variety of roles to enhance patient care, these could include assisting with mealtimes, visiting patients and supporting staff-run programming,” Holt said. “If a volunteer has a special talent they would like to share, we support them in creating a program that suits the facility.”
The process for coming on as a volunteer is simple, Holt says. Once a volunteer has applied they are interviewed, complete confidentiality, PRC and HealthScreen paperwork and then they are ready for orientation to Alberta Health Services and their chosen placement.
Holt says that nearly 9,000 AHS volunteers across the province support and complement the work of AHS staff.
“Their skills and commitment make a huge difference to our organization, making them a valued part of our healthcare team,” Holt said. “Volunteers provide a variety of programs to support healthcare teams in providing patient and family-centered care that is focused on individual needs and experiences.”
Taber, Holt says, is a unique facility in the South Zone because it houses a Medical Clinic along with several other health supports.
“Volunteers can make a huge difference for patients in hospital,” Holt said. “They are compassionate, empathetic and have the time to spend with a patient when our staff are often too busy. They can assist with finding something a patient needs, or just sitting to play a game of cards when a family member needs a break. A hospital with a well-rounded volunteer base is an asset to its community. Those who engage in volunteer activities often find a greater sense of purpose in their lives, a feeling of belonging, and a deeper meaning. At the same time, the people who receive volunteer assistance are benefited not only by the actions taken but also by the warmth, attention, and empathy that volunteers share, (and it) strengthens community connections.”
For more information or to volunteer with the Taber Health Centre email email@example.com or call 587-787-2843.