Volunteering At The George Dumont Hospital

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Do you want to improve your French language skills? Gain work experience? Meet new people? Give back to your community? Why not volunteer at the hospital?

Hopital Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont offers an annual summer volunteering program aimed at high school students. The program starts shortly after the end of school and runs for the following eight weeks.

The summer program, like the year-round program, starts with the volunteers attended a general orientation and socialized orientation (in the area of your choosing). Once trained, the volunteer work a two to four hour shift each week for a duration of eight weeks. When summer comes to an end, students can choose to put their volunteer work on hold until the next summer or to pursue their volunteer work year-round. 

There are several jobs for volunteers the hospital. Students can operate a mobile library, visit with patients, distribute questionnaires, and welcome patients among other activities. Many activities are done in pairs, so you can ask to work with a friend. The principal role of the volunteer is to improve the patient’s experience, not to provide care, so students shouldn’t worry about not having enough training to volunteer. 

To become a volunteer at Hopital Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont or at the affliated locations (e.g. the Centre de sante des anciens combattants) in the Moncton area, you must be bilingual and you must be 14 years old or older. You will need to fill out an application, provide three references (tip: ask teachers and other potential references for their contact information before the end of the school year), and be interviewed. Don’t worry though: while the process may seem intimidating and time-consuming, it actually runs quite smoothly. 

Take the first step toward becoming a volunteer by contacting the volunteer service to reserve a spot at the information session on June 21st. You can reach the Service des benevoles by phone at (506) 862-4267 or by e-mail at benevolesrrsb.nb.ca.You are not obligated to become a volunteer if you attend the information session; you can attend just to obtain more information. However, you should schedule off time for an interview with the Service des benevoles which is likely to be conducted the same week.

As a volunteer at Hopital Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont myself, I can attest that volunteering is a beneficial and fulfilling activity. I am certain that, if you choose to volunteer, you will find your experience rewarding and you will find the programs well-organized.

For more information, visit www.beausejour-nb.ca

(Note: Moncton City Hospital also has a volunteer program, but it appears to be only for those eigteen years of age or older.)

 

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on June 12th, 2010.


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