Some of the people who'll start smiling at you first and help you get where you're going are the volunteers at Intermountain Medical Center.
There are 370 volunteers based across the campus, and they include men and women of all ages; some are retired, some are college students and every summer, some are teenagers. You'll notice them in their distinctive royal blue jackets.
What kinds of services do the volunteers provide?
- They're based at most public entrances to offer help, directions, and comfort.
- They serve in places like the ICU and surgery waiting rooms, outpatient surgery, the emergency room, radiology, endoscopy, and reception areas. They help patients' families connect with physicians and other care providers; they provide food and other support for families in need; they provide information for staff members and patients and their families.
- Volunteers staff and operate gift shops in the main patient tower and the women’s center.
- They respond to requests from patients and visitors, deliver flowers, and perform a myriad of other tasks to assist staff.
- Volunteers include a music therapist who performs music to help comfort patients in their rooms; other volunteers play music in the lobby during the holidays.
- Volunteers train and provide therapy animals that help soothe and distract long-term patients and their family members.
- Some volunteers go out into the community to provide services like blood pressure screenings at local senior centers.
- Volunteers sit with patients who are alone or help support patients and families who are facing the end of life.
Why are volunteers important?
"Some people may be overwhelmed, frightened or worried when they visit a hospital, and a volunteer’s smile and assistance help put them at ease," says Dana Barrutia, Intermountain Medical Center’s director of volunteer services. "They’re the heart of the community and give an extra dose of caring that enhances everything that happens here."
Many volunteers have 20, 30, and even 40 years of service to the hospital; all are trained in customer service and protecting patient privacy. Some volunteers are former hospital employees; many are former patients who know what current patients need. "For many of our volunteers, their service is a way to pay back the caring and compassion that others have invested in them, either in our hospitals or in the community," Dana says. "They volunteer to show their appreciation."
The volunteers are one reason why Intermountain Healthcare gets high marks for customer service. Dana says: "Our volunteers give the gift of time and caring, and people appreciate that. And wherever you go, who doesn’t like to be greeted by a smile?"
Search & Apply for Volunteer Opportunities