Hospital-Wide Volunteer Programs
Our volunteers work in all areas of the Medical Center, including nursing units, administrative and support service departments. Whatever your talents, the Volunteer Department will help you find a program that suits you best.
We continue to recruit individuals and college students in Medical Assistant, Nursing, PA and pre-med programs and train them as volunteer companions in conjunction with Nursing Education, Metabolic Support and Geriatrics. Duties include providing patients in adult medical-surgical units with compassionate and attentive care, companionship and direct observation, reading to patients, walking with patients, and assisting with their meals.
Coordinated by the Department of Volunteer Services, volunteer feeders have been trained by Nursing Educators, Food and Nutrition professionals and Geriatric physicians to assist with feeding patients who are incapacitated. They make breakfast, lunch and dinner rounds on designated units, working closely with the nurse managers to identify patients in need.
These volunteers welcome patients into the hospital and at the Cancer Center. Working as members of a patient care team under the direction of nursing staff, hospitality volunteers are responsible for making continuous patient rounds on assigned nursing units. They provide supplemental non-medical services such as procuring pillows and blankets, arranging for phone and television service, distributing amenities, serving snacks, purchasing necessary items from the gift shop, and communicating patients' needs and concerns to appropriate staff.
Nearly 50% of the residents in the communities we serve are foreign born, and in an effort to best serve our patients the Department of Volunteer Services established an Interpreters Training Program. Founded in 1997, this program recruits bilingual volunteers and trains them in simultaneous interpreting techniques, medical terminology, code of ethics and other areas critical to providing quality interpreter services. Upon successful completion of the training, volunteer interpreters are assigned to Ambulatory Health Services, Emergency Department and nursing units. Our volunteer interpreters speak different foreign languages including Spanish, Russian, Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese), Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and others. More than 45 languages are represented among Maimonides volunteers.
Labor Coach Support (Doula) Program
Pregnancy and childbirth are joyous yet physically and emotionally demanding events. They can be made easier with the help of professionally trained volunteers called "doulas," a Greek word meaning woman caregiver. Maimonides is the only hospital in New York City that provides volunteer doulas on a nearly round-the-clock basis. Operated by N'shei C.A.R.E.S. (Community Awareness Responsibility Education & Support), a division of Agudah Women of America, doulas provide parents with non-medical services such as advice during labor on breathing, positioning, relaxation techniques, as well as massage and other natural pain management.
Let's Walk and Talk Program
Volunteers in the Let's Walk and Talk Geriatric Initiative are trained to visit patients daily and provide assistance with walking and active range of motion exercises. They also provide empathetic support and companionship for older patients and families coping with acute illness, hospitalizations and transitions across a continuum of care.
Mended Hearts Program
The Mended Hearts Program, which is affiliated with The American Heart Association, recruits former heart surgery patients to reach out to other heart patients. In conjunction with the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center, the Department of Volunteer Services participates in monthly meetings designed to educate and inform individuals about heart disease, various cardiac procedures and most importantly maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle.
Postpartum Support Program
Through physical, emotional, and informational support, these professionally trained volunteers help to create a bond of support and confidence between parents and their newborn. Along with a Lactation specialist, Postpartum Volunteers assist with breastfeeding techniques. They also assist nursing staff in preparing babies for bathing and discharge. This program is operated in cooperation with N'shei C.A.R.E.S., a division of Agudah Women of America.
Making a hospital stay easier for a child is the main focus of our pediatric volunteers. Following child life training, these volunteers provide a variety of services, including organizing playroom activities, offering parents some time off from visiting their sick children, and assisting nursing and administrative staff as needed. In addition, our pediatric volunteers assist in the waiting areas of the Ambulatory Surgical Unit/Endoscopy and Pediatric Emergency Room.
A hospital stay can be stressful for both patients and families. Refreshment Cart Volunteers from Rivkah Laufer Bikur Cholim work together with the Departments of Food & Nutrition and Nursing to provide a unique service that contributes to the physical and mental well being of the patient and family. While bringing light refreshments to the nursing units, volunteers engage in pleasant conversation, lend a helping hand when appropriate and provide a caring human touch. This helps to reduce patient and family anxiety and allows the health care providers the much needed time to focus on quality patient care. These volunteers operate two refreshment carts throughout the hospital each weekday and serve an average of 80,000 people in the Medical Center each year.
The Women's Auxiliary provides a variety of services. The Auxiliary volunteers bring extra special joy by arranging to have color pictures taken of newborns at Maimonides and distributing gift packages to new mothers. Volunteers maintain the Patient's Library, facilitate donations and conduct book sales. Each day, volunteers visit inpatient units distributing books, magazines, periodicals and local newspapers. They also organize weekly fundraising sales.