Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



									                               Queensland Health

                                    Case study

                           Princess Alexandra Hospital Volunteer Services
          Topic            Unit

The volunteering program    The Princess Alexandra Hospital‟s Volunteer Services Unit
                           (PAH VSU) commenced in 1998 providing services to staff,
                           patients and carers.

                           The Unit‟s Purpose Statement is “to assist the staff of the
                           Princess Alexandra Hospital to deliver excellence in health
                           care services while supporting the aims and values of the

                           The work of this Unit supports and aligns with Queensland
                           Health‟s Mission Statement to “create dependable health
                           care and better health for all Queenslanders.”
Number of volunteers       95 (as at September 2009)

Profile of volunteers      There are a range of volunteers including:
                                                                 a multicultural unit
                                  with a range of volunteers who collectively speak
                                  approximately 16 to 20 languages

                                  Vo
                                   engages one volunteer with a hearing impairment
                                   and one volunteer with Downs Syndrome

                                          statistical data collected by the Unit reveals
                                   that the fastest growing portion of volunteers is from
                                   the Generation Y age bracket (born 1977-2004
                                   approx). The greatest number of existing volunteers
                                   are aged 50+.

Volunteer roles            Volunteers perform the following roles:

                           Front of house
                            Usher         maintain order at the front entry, greeting
                              visitors, assisting people from vehicles and regulating
                            Meet                       provide escort and directional
                              services to visitors and patients from the Information
                            Providing courier services to the hospital florist
                            Office support administrative duties including
                              photocopying, collating, book binding, guillotine work,
                              badge making, stamping etc.

                           Ward support and patient recreation services
                            Library services in the inpatient wards and outpatient
                             waiting rooms
                            Provision of a „Petals‟ service to inpatients offering to
                             refresh or discard flowers
                            Volunteers assist the Leisure Therapists and Recreation
                             Officers in the Patient Recreation Programs devised for
                             the patients in the Rehabilitation. Cancer Services and
                              the Mental Health Units
                             Patient visits and shopping services
                             Crutches assembly
                             Cleaning and sorting of equipment in the Central Clinical
                              Resource Unit
                             Working in Peer Support Programs in the Cardiac Unit,
                              Speech Rehab Unit and the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic
                             Intensive Care Unit waiting room liaison
                             Working in the Patient Meals Assist Program helping
                              patients to open food packages at meal times
                             Tea and coffee service to the Emergency Department
                              and the Outpatient Clinic areas
                             Folding and separating services to clinical wards

                            In addition, a variety of flexible volunteering opportunities
                            often arise such as shopping for patients, office work and
                            computer tasks and work on the hospital magazine.

                            At the initial interview, volunteers are asked about their skills
                            and areas of interest and these are matched to appropriate

Recruiting volunteers       The hospital recruits volunteers through the following
                                advertisements on Seek website
                                advertisements on Volunteering Queensland
                                word of mouth
                                ex-patients who see volunteers on duty
                                attendance at expos such as the University of
                                   Queensland Volunteering Expo Through existing

Keeping volunteers          The PA Hospital Volunteer Services Unit provides a home-
engaged                     like base for volunteers. This area provides volunteers
                            access to tea and coffee facilities and lockers, as well as
                            interaction and access to management, administration staff
                            and other volunteers. This setting allows management to be
                            aware of volunteer morale, issues, challenges and

                            As well as informal discussion conducted on a day-to-day
                            basis, each volunteer is afforded an annual review to
                            discuss their workload, strengths and weaknesses and
                            areas of interest.

                            Management also hold annual task review workshops with
                            each of the volunteer groups to discuss their roles.

                            The Unit holds regular morning teas to engage volunteers
                            and staff feedback is provided to volunteers as part of the
                            celebrations for significant events such as National
                            Volunteers Week and International Volunteers Day.

                            Management tries to recognise the personal achievements
                            of volunteers who go above and beyond their duty by
                            sending personalised cards and by contacting them directly
                            when they are ill.

Key external partnerships   Not applicable
Evaluating        A formal evaluation of the Unit is planned within the next
                  year. Several informal mechanisms are in place to seek
                  feedback to ensure a well run Unit:

                   feedback via postcard format is sought from volunteers
                    during National Volunteers Week annually
                   volunteer supervisors are encouraged to provide
                    feedback frequently
                   regular meetings are conducted with Recreation Officers
                    and Leisure Therapists to seek feedback and discuss the
                    services provided
                   annual Task Review Workshops are held to discuss work
                    practice and maintain consistency of service
                   a Unit Scorecard is supplied to management on a
                    monthly basis detailing the number of volunteer hours the
                    Unit contributes
                   a biannual report is provided to management and the
                    volunteers outlining the financial value of the number of
                    volunteer hours contributed

Contact details   Manager, Volunteer Services Unit
                  Princess Alexander Hospital
                  Queensland Health
                  Tel (07) 3240 5605

To top