Our Atrium Medical Center (Atrium) volunteer stories may inspire you to become a volunteer.
In January 2011, our Friend Program was underway. We received a call in the Volunteer Office requesting a “Friend” for one our inpatients. When our volunteer arrived, the unit nursing staff informed her that this patient was unhappy and they had not seen him smile even once. She went into his room and introduced herself and the program. He stated he did not want anyone to talk to and asked her to leave. As she was leaving the room, she again stated that she would be here all morning if he changed his mind and that she could just bring him a magazine or book instead if wanted one. He looked at our volunteer and said, “Oh why not – have a seat.” They ended up speaking for almost an hour and discussed everything from World War II to the Vietnam War where his son had served and given his life. They talked about their children and even their dogs. When she left the room, he was smiling and thanked her for coming. What a beautiful way this is to relieve the stress of being in the hospital and a way to give our patients a break from the boredom.
Learn more about the Friend Program.
Pet Therapy Program
One of our trainers was here one morning with her dog, Buddy, when a family member of one of our inpatients saw her and Buddy getting off of the elevator. She stopped and spoke with our trainer and asked if they would come to their mother’s room in the ICU, because she knew that it would help her Mom as she has been away from her own dog during her stay here. Her mother was unable to speak but the visit from Buddy helped to drop her blood pressure (if only for a few moments). Buddy laid on the floor after that and let all six of the family members pet and hold him. By the time the visit was over, everyone in the room, including the trainer, were crying. Unfortunately, the patient did pass on the next day but for just a few moments, there was a sense of relief and comfort for the patient and the entire family.
Learn more about Pet Therapy.