Volunteer Opportunities at BMH

bmh volunteers

Who Are Our Volunteers?

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital volunteers are men and women from your community who care about Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and contribute their time and energy to assist the hospital in a wide variety of activities. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital also has a student volunteer program for those between the ages of 13 and 18. Student volunteers often select their assignments according to their career goals and interests.

Volunteer Services

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital volunteers contribute their skills, time, and energy in many different areas. Here is just a sampling of their varied service responsibilities throughout the hospital:

  • Welcoming and escorting new patients to their rooms
  • Transporting patients to and from testing areas
  • Assisting patients in various hospital departments and on nursing floors
  • Providing information and assistance to visitors at the Information Desk
  • Working in the Hospital Gift Shop
  • Typing, filing, photocopying, collating and other clerical work
  • Assisting in mailings
  • Answering telephones
  • Running errands and delivering specimens and paperwork
  • Assisting the nursing staff with simple but important tasks
  • Serving as an extra pair of hands in areas such as Oncology and the Ambulatory Care Unit
  • Serving as a liaison between families and staff in the Emergency Department

Shadow Opportunities

In addition to serving as a volunteer at BMH, individual “shadow” opportunities may be arranged.  These opportunities generally give an individual the opportunity to shadow a staff member at BMH for the purpose of exploring career interests.  These shadows may be short or longer term. The policies and procedures that apply to volunteering at BMH also apply to shadowing.

Volunteer Doula Network

BMH Volunteer Doula Network is a free service that features free doula (labor support) services. BMH currently has about a dozen doulas that are on call.  Each of the doulas involved in the doula program have participated in extensive training. Their training includes stages of labor, pain management techniques and tools to support family members and partners. They are also familiar with the Birthing Center resources and staff, allowing them to be better equipped to
provide support to the mother and her family.

For more information about becoming a doula contact Carol Schnabel, Doula Coordinator at 802-257-1894, or Debbie Partrick at 802-257-8228.

Interviews

Prospective volunteers must make an appointment for a personal interview with the Volunteer Coordinator. In this interview, you will discuss your needs and those of the hospital.  We’ll work to make a match with consideration for both your availability and your interests.   We will then suggest a mutually rewarding volunteer position for you. As soon as we’ve matched you with a suitable position, we will schedule you with the department in which you will be working.

Training

All volunteers will participate in New Employee/Volunteer Orientation. Training is provided on the job by the hospital staff or by other volunteers. In addition to verbal instructions, departments and services have written job descriptions to help define the volunteer’s duties.

To schedule an interview, contact 802-257-8238.

Guidelines for Volunteering at BMH

Noise can be very disturbing to patients. Please help maintain a pleasant, restful atmosphere by speaking softly and using equipment carefully.
Volunteers wear a uniform that is a smock, a cobbler apron, a vest or a polo shirt. Volunteer identification badges will be provided by the hospital. We suggest that you wear low heeled, comfortable shoes or sneakers.  No open toed shoes are allowed.
Patients are often eager to talk with volunteers and are cheered by this contact. Remember to call patients by name whenever possible and to listen in a friendly, noncommittal way. Tactfully evade confidences or questions that you cannot answer and do not discuss controversial subjects with patients.
As a volunteer, you are directly responsible to the department to which you have been assigned. Sometimes a change of assignment is necessary, either for your convenience or to meet the changing demands of the hospital. Please do not change assignments unless you have made arrangements to do so with the Director.
Volunteers are a vital part of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and we count on you being here when you’re scheduled. Therefore, if you are unable to be here on your scheduled day, please notify your assigned department as soon as possible so that a substitute may be found. (You, in turn, may occasionally be asked to substitute for another volunteer.) If you plan to take a vacation, please notify the Director as soon as you know the dates that you will be away.
Many things that you will see and hear within the hospital are of a personal nature. Patients have the right to privacy and it is your responsibility to respect that right. Information concerning patients, such as their names, conditions and care must be confidential.For these reasons, volunteers are not allowed to:

  • Read patients’ medical records.
  • Ask patients why they are in the hospital, or inquire about their diagnosis or the details of their care
  • Answer inquiries about health care practices or costs

A breach of confidentiality is grounds for the immediate dismissal of a volunteer.

All volunteers receive a complementary meal and beverage during the shift that they work.  In addition, use of the Fitness Room at BMH is available free of charge to all volunteers.  Please see the Director to learn more about the Fitness Room.
If you become ill, injured or have an accident while on duty, be sure to report the incident, no matter how slight, to the coordinator. In the interest of safety, we suggest that volunteers follow these guidelines:

  • Do not lift patients or heavy loads
  • Never assist a patient into or out of a wheelchair without the help of a nurse or nurses assistant. When handling a wheelchair move cautiously, backing it into elevators, down ramps and through doors. Be careful when turning corners.

All volunteers are asked to adhere to the policies applicable to their departments.

It sometimes happens that your service does not meet your needs or those of the hospital. In that case you or Brattleboro Memorial Hospital may decide to discontinue your services as a volunteer. If you decide to discontinue your volunteer work, please inform the Director as far in advance as possible.
Please leave valuables at home. Keep only small amounts of money and keys in your uniform pocket.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital or to schedule an interview, please contact JoAnne Rogers at 802-257-8238.