In 2015 I was hired to help re-open a small, district hospital. I had a lot of experience in my field, communications, but it was my first job in health care. The CEO asked me if I would manage the Auxiliary, about 30 women — most retired — with varied backgrounds. A few had been doctors or nurses; some had worked on the business side in hospitals or offices. Others were astute when it came to policies and procedures, finances, and so on.
The average age in the group was probably over 70. They were organized, active, and competent. Their attitudes were professional and cheerful. They were loyal and would do just about any job we asked of them. If someone couldn’t make her shift, another would step up. They were kind to one another and to all the staff.
My deep appreciation for all they gave to the hospital grew daily, from standing in to deliver meals to patients when we were short-staffed, to donating hand-knitted items for the gift shop, to patiently listening to anyone who needed to vent. The Auxiliary was the heart and soul of our little community hospital. Seeing a smiling face at reception greet me each morning with a hearty “Good morning!” and hearing “Good night! You go home and put your feet up!” after a tough day made our workplace warm and special.
It’s often been said that volunteers are the heart and soul of a hospital. In my experience, it’s absolutely true.
Thank you so very much!
Jane Rogan Dwight