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Spring 2018
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Visiting Committee

Mid Coast Hospital patients staying in the Medical Surgical Unit benefit not only from the expert care of our clinical teams, but also from volunteers who help make their stay the best it can be. Called the Visiting Committee, these volunteers engage patients in simple, friendly conversation aimed at learning if the patients' experience is a positive one or what steps might improve it.

Patients really appreciate the extra level of concern for quality care. Visiting Committee volunteer Carolyn Hewitt said, "Minor concerns can be resolved right away rather than letting them grow into larger issues." Volunteers report comments to Mid Coast Hospital's administration, leadership, and the Department of Quality & Patient Safety, as well as to patients' nursing teams so that the nursing staff can have a full understanding of patients' needs.

Volunteer Junelle Brandt said she finds patients happy to speak with a friendly person who is not on their medical team. She opens with questions such as, "How are things going with your hospital stay?" and, "Is there anything we can do to make your stay better?" Sometimes, the conversations take a seemingly unrelated direction.

"The questions are so general that the conversation can go in most any direction," said Brandt. She recalls a patient who had few visitors and just wanted to share what was on her mind; it was the anniversary of her sister's death, and she missed her greatly. "When I asked her to tell me about her sister," Brandt said, "she shared a number of memories and said she felt better just to talk."

In addition to strong communication skills, a positive attitude, and empathy, volunteers are trained to look for hazards in the patient's room, such as tangled cords or water on the floor that create a risk of falling. They ensure that patients have a call bell and bedside stand within reach. Volunteers adhere to hospital rules and protocols about patient confidentiality, hand washing, and other procedures.

The Visiting Committee is just one of the many volunteer opportunities available throughout Mid Coast–Parkview Health. For more information about volunteering or to apply online visit midcoastparkviewhealth.com/volunteer or call (207) 373-6015.

More Info

Mid Coast–Parkview Health Volunteers

123 Medical Center Drive
Brunswick, Maine 04011
(207) 373-6015

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