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Frequently asked questions
What does a volunteer do?
Volunteers are carefully screened and trained for various positions in the hospital that include, but are not limited to, running businesses, providing emotional and practical support and, greeting and directing patients and visitors to various areas in the hospital.

Our goal is to enhance care at the hospital by providing excellence in customer service to our patients, visitors and staff. Volunteers support clinical and non-clinical programs at all three sites and also own and operate the Tim Horton’s and retail businesses (excluding pharmacy) at the Freeport and KW sites. Proceeds from our businesses are donated back to the hospital to enhance patient care.

Examples of volunteer placements:
Direct patient care areas: palliative care, complex care, cancer centre, medicine, emergency, dialysis, rehabilitation, medical imaging (x-ray/ultrasound) day surgery, inpatient psychiatry etc.

Indirect patient care areas:
  • Information/portering
  • Joke junction
  • Administration e.g. - public affairs, library and resource centre, diabetic clinics
  • Retail shops:
    • Gift shops
    • General store
  • Volunteer association board and committee members

As a volunteer…
You will have the opportunity to:

  • Add to the quality of health care by helping the patients, families, staff and visitors;
  • Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping others in your community;
  • Learn new skills;
  • Make new friends; and
  • Add to your resume and life experiences.
What skills do you need to volunteer at the hospital?
We are looking for individuals who enjoy being around people and have the ability to comfort individuals under stress. The skills we look for in our volunteers are compassion, good listeners, reliable, team player and the ability to take initiative. Training is provided for your volunteer placement.

What are the requirements for being a volunteer at Grand River Hospital?
  • You must be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • There is a minimum six month commitment. Most volunteers work one shift per week and are scheduled for a specific time i.e. 8:30am to12:30pm. There is flexibility is some positions.
  • Attend a two-and-a-half hour volunteer information session.
  • Attend an informal interview with the coordinator of volunteer resources to discuss your interests and potential volunteer assignment.
  • All volunteers must complete a two-step tuberculosis (TB) skin test and provide documentation for immunity against rubella (German Measles), red measles and chicken pox. Our occupational health nurse is available to assist volunteers to meet these health requirements.
  • Submit a clear police record check with the vulnerable population.
  • Provide two professional references (no family or friends). A reference form will be provided for your referees to complete.
How do you become a volunteer?
All volunteers must attend an information session. Please contact our volunteer department for more information and upcoming volunteer information sessions.

Telephone: 519-749-4300, ext. 2613.
E-mail: volunteer@grhosp.on.ca

Registered volunteers receive complimentary parking for each of their scheduled shifts.

Can we volunteer at more than one site?
You may volunteer at both sites based on the needs of the services. We suggest initially you begin with one shift until you have familiarized yourself with the hospital and your volunteer placement.

We have a policy that individuals may only volunteer up to three shifts per week.
I'm a student. Can I just do my 40 hour requirement?
Students who wish to only complete their 40 hour requirement are encouraged to volunteer during the summer months. We commence summer recruitment in March to fill summer vacancies. The requirement is a minimum of two shifts per week for the months of July and August.

How many days do I need to volunteer per week?
Can I volunteer more than once a week? You are required to volunteer at least once a week. Shifts are typically three to four hours in length. You will be required to volunteer on the same day and at the same time each week as this provides consistency for staff, patients and families.

Do we need to wear a uniform?
You will be required to wear a vest for your scheduled shift and a $10 deposit is required for the vest. Students participating in the summer student program will receive a t-shirt at a cost of $10.

How are placement decisions made?
You will be invited to an interview and together we will try to find a suitable placement for you based on your interests, skills, availability and the needs of the placement area/program. References and the police records check will be considered in the assignment of the placement.

Can we take vacations, if so, how long can we be off and will we be guaranteed our placement when we return?
Vacations are encouraged. If you will be away for greater then four weeks, we may ask that you consider a leave of absence. If you take a leave of absence, your volunteer position is not guaranteed upon your return; however, every effort will be made to arrange a suitable alternate position.

Is it possible to volunteer for special events or fundraising efforts?
The Grand River Hospital Foundation welcomes volunteers. Please visit their website at http://www.grhf.org/ 
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