A volunteer is a person that, by own choice, dedicates a part of his or her time to solid and altruistic action with the Hospital Divina Providencia without receiving any monetary compensation. In this sense, the voluntary service implies time not money.
Because of the repercussion that the voluntary service has on the different functional areas of the Hospital Divina Providencia, a legally established institution, with Christian-Catholic values and dealing with human lives, the voluntary service must be developed within an organized way. The voluntary service is not treated as a personal, individual, testimonial or intimate practice. The voluntary service’s objective is to improve the hospital’s reality in an accurate way. Against improvisation and spontaneity, the voluntary service requires an organizational way of proceeding, by joining forces.
CONTACT WITH PATIENT
This is the type of help in which the volunteer holds a direct interaction with the patient. This type of service deals with the patient’s physiological, emotional and spiritual needs; and the volunteer is a first-hand witness of the illness that the patient suffers.
Depending on the performance area, the voluntary will need certain capacities that respond to the needs that the patient presents. It is by this motive that the person that chooses to perform in contact with the patient will first have to attend a series of capacitating speeches with the hospital’s authorities, in order to ensure that the help provided by the volunteer can respond to the real needs of the patient, its well-being and complying with the medical and spiritual attention that the institution provides.
Another indispensable requisite in this type of voluntary service is the empathic attitude towards the patient’s condition, especially regarding his or her ailment. Likewise, and even more important is the volunteer aspirer’s attitude towards death. The patients in this institution suffer from incurable diseases that will lead them to an inevitable death. This is a very painful process for the patient, emotionally and physically; a process on which the volunteer will have a direct contact. It is by this motive that the volunteer must avoid questioning the patient with issues regarding his illness, or annoy him or her with ideas about death. In the same way, the volunteer-to be must know that there’s the possibility of facing the agony and/or death of a patient.
As a last tip, the volunteer working on contact with the patient will be doing so in coordination with both the medical and nursery personnel. The extent of this will vary depending on the type of work chosen. In any case, during his or her time of work, the volunteer will work in a self-managed way, always according to the indications and standards of the Hospital Divina Providencia, and it will happen in an individual way for each patient that is to be assisted, with a maximum of two volunteers per patient.
WITHOUT PATIENT CONTACT
This voluntary service is dedicated to collaboration with the different activities that form the daily work in the hospital, in order to assist the labor of the institution’s personnel. In this field the volunteer doesn’t have an interaction with the patients and doesn’t witness their ailments. This help facilitates the activities of those responsible of the patients’ palliative care and those of the hospital’s managers. Likewise, this enables the hospital to focus its limited financial resources to acquiring the medicines that the patients need.
For each area of performance the volunteer needs to possess different capabilities and skills that will be provided by the hospital. On a first stance, the volunteer has to be familiar with the hospital’s physical structure, its work areas and the tools that will be needed in order to perform the different activities. The responsibility regarding the use of the goods provided by the hospital to the volunteer is another requisite needed to provide an effective service in this field.
Since this is an area that implies contact with different persons, it is indispensable that the volunteer has respect and tolerance towards colleagues and the hospital’s personnel. It must be always remembered that the volunteer belongs to a team, and that his or her work is valuable just when this efforts can be unified with those of the remaining volunteers working under the without contact with the patient area. Another important attitude that has to be found on the volunteer willing to work in this area is to obey the hospital’s authorities and those that have been designated by them. This is in order to achieve a correct management of the individual efforts of the volunteers.
Team work is a crucial aspect in this type of volunteer service, because in every area the volunteer must work in coordination with other volunteers or with the hospital’s personnel. The team must be able to self-manage itself through its work day, always taking as a base the directives recommended by the hospital. The coordination of the whole without contact with the patient volunteers and their joint action will be needed several times a year as part of the fund-raising activities that this type of voluntary service helps to coordinate.