Biweekly Briefing Articles

Volunteers Are the Heartbeat of the Hospital

Hospitals are only able to provide essential care to patients because many dedicated people come together every day to help those in need. No one exemplifies this dedication more than California’s hospital volunteers. Next week, April 21-27, is National Volunteer Week, and it is a time for us to reflect on the selflessness, kindness, and generosity that can sometimes go unseen and unrecognized. It’s also a time to say thank you.

Volunteers enhance the hospital experience in countless ways. They provide companionship, comfort, service, and support to patients, families, visitors, and staff. A volunteer may be the first person people encounter when coming through the front door of a hospital, offering a smile, a friendly greeting, and directions. They work with staff, assisting with administrative tasks, running errands, and answering phones; they are behind the counter at the gift shop. They even provide pet and music therapy to patients. Their contributions are invaluable.

Volunteers come from every kind of background, and they range in age from teenager to senior citizen. The one thing they have in common is the desire to give back to their community and make a difference in the lives of others. They exemplify the true spirit of public service and compassion.

The thousands of volunteers in California hospitals require managers to support them in their essential work. They deserve our thanks too.    

National Volunteer Week is not only a time to express our gratitude for the remarkable contributions of hospital volunteers but to also renew our commitment to providing them with the support and resources they require to continue their essential work. They are needed more than ever. Let’s ensure the heartbeat of our hospitals remains strong, powered by the dedication and compassion of our volunteers. Thank you for all you do.  If you would like to share photos or videos of celebratory events honoring hospital volunteers, the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is collecting them to post on its website and Facebook page.