Since 2005, Donna Dubrick has been helping patients when they arrive in the day surgery unit. Being a retired teacher, Donna provides new volunteers with the information they need to support patients.
Her support and understanding provides nervous patients with comfort before their procedure. Day surgery is where patients arrive to be prepared for same-day surgery.
Why did you start volunteering?
When I retired from teaching, I didn't realize how much time I would have on my hands. I have a lot of friends who volunteer at GRH and they had positive things to say about it. Hearing about their experiences helped me decide this would be a good place for me.
What is something that is unique about volunteering in day surgery?
Learning about certain procedures really helps me to understand a patient's needs. The staff are absolutely amazing to work with. They're very helpful and understanding. Everyone takes the time to talk to the volunteers and offers any information we might need to better understand what is going on.
How has your experience as a teacher helped your volunteer experience?
As a teacher, my job was dealing with different kinds of people. With both roles, I practice a lot of patience. Patients coming in with their families are very much like students and their parents. Being concerned for their loved one's well-being can add a lot of stress. Also, I train new volunteers. Teaching has helped me a lot in this role because new volunteers look at me for guidance on how to do their job well.
What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering?
After retiring, I got a sense of being needed. Being able to help people and make their day a little less confusing is very rewarding.
What would you tell new volunteers?
There are a few key things to remember: be patient, be understanding and compassionate, smile and respect privacy. I always tell new volunteers that whatever is seen in the hospital, stays in the hospital. In day surgery, one of the most important things is respecting privacy. We are here to make someone's life a bit easier.