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Opportunities for volunteers in NHS Emergency Departments

Posted Jul 17th, 2014

Niagara Health System has openings for volunteers in our Emergency Departments at the Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines sites.

“Volunteering at the hospital offers a rewarding experience and meaningful work for community members who want to get involved and have a real impact creating a positive experience for our patients,” says Debbie Anderson, Co-ordinator, Volunteer Services for the NHS.

We know a trip to the Emergency Department can be difficult. The aim of the program, which was launched two years ago, is to create a great experience for our patients and their loved ones and increase patient satisfaction with our services.

“Volunteers assist in the waiting room by answering questions, addressing concerns and being a liaison with staff. They also care for patients at the bedside by offering a variety of comfort measures and support,” Anderson adds.

NHS is looking for people with a variety of skills, including good communication and problem-solving skills, along with a kind nature to support patients, families and staff in the Emergency Department as part of our focus on patient-centred care.

The team of ED volunteers is made up of a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds; those who are working or retired (some from healthcare) as well as students in post-secondary programs preparing for careers in the field. Volunteers at the NHS are a satisfied group. In a recent survey, 98% said they would recommend volunteering at the NHS to their family and friends.

Brock University graduate Rob Smith, who has done a tremendous amount of work as team lead for the Emergency Department Volunteer Program, said of his experience:  “I love volunteering in the ED because it’s a time to help and connect with fellow community members on a level that is difficult to achieve in our busy lives. These interactions can make the hospital experience more comfortable, and I’m very grateful to have this opportunity. Working alongside very dedicated frontline staff, physicians, and administration has also helped me develop knowledge and skills that I can use in my future career in healthcare.”

Volunteers will begin in September and receive comprehensive training. Interested applicants have until Friday, Aug. 8 to apply through the volunteer section on the NHS website,

NHS volunteer facts:

The health system has about 1,150 volunteers at six sites.

Volunteers contributed more than 150,000 hours of services last year.

NHS scored higher than the provincial average on five of six categories in our 2013 volunteer satisfaction survey.

Media contact: Steven Gallagher, Communications Specialist, 905-378-4647, ext. 43879;


Niagara Health System