Meet Our Volunteers: Dialysis Center

The great thing about volunteering is you can donate your time in many different ways and at the hospital, in many different places.

For the last three years, Christopher Guss of Sandusky has been volunteering every Monday and Wednesday at Firelands Regional Medical Center’s Dialysis Center on Pierce Street. 

“A friend of mine works here and told me since I talk a lot, this would be a good job for me,” said Chris. “So I volunteered.”

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Chris is a warm, jolly fellow who seems to fit right into the hustle and bustle of the dialysis center, making conversation with almost every patient he passes by in the hallway. But Chris does a lot more than just converse with patients. 

“I usually help the nurses in the morning bring in the patients,” said Chris. “We have two shifts here. So I give them a hand bringing the first shift patients out so they can get ready for the next ones.”

“I help take [the patients] back and weight them in. Then I help them get back to their chair. Once they are settled down I go out and take them some ice to help with any dry mouth.”

“When I come back from lunch, I make up what they call a needle pack for when the patients get hooked up to the machines. I also make cath packs for people that have the spot in their chest.”

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Chris loves everything about volunteering. “I really love working with the staff. They have a great staff at Outpatient Dialysis. Not just the people up front, but all the nurses. I’m impressed with how caring they are with the patients.”

If someone is on the fence about volunteering Chris, with a big grin, would tell them to "do it!"

“I would tell someone thinking about volunteering to find out where they are needed and give it a try. They may find out they really like it!”

“You know, I wasn’t sure about coming here," said Chris. "But after my second day here I loved it.”

“I don’t want to brag, but I make just about everybody’s day for them,” Chris said with a chuckle. “I joke around with some of them. Most of these patients, considering what they have to go through, can be hooked up to these machines 3 to 4 hours and still maintain a good sense of humor so I usually try to cheer them up a little one way or another.”

While Chris loves bonding with the patients, it can make his job a little more difficult at times. 

“The tough part of the job though is when you don’t see someone anymore.”

Overall, Chris has loved all of the time he has spent volunteering.

“I think this place is the best,” said Chris. “Because of the care and every one of those patients are special [to their nurses.] I think the nursing staff here is great and I really like working with them.”

How Can I Volunteer

Do you want to volunteer, but aren’t sure the Dialysis Center is the right fit for you? There are many other opportunities around the hospital:

  • Patient and guest relations: Volunteers assist staff on nursing floors by offering assistance with nonmedical needs.
  • Gift shops: The Firelands Auxiliary manages three gift shops and needs volunteers as salespersons and cashiers, and for stocking and data entry.
  • Information Desk—main and south campuses: Volunteers are essential at the information desk as they assist patients and visitors, deliver flowers and mail, and help transport guests.
  • Clerical assistance, special projects: Volunteers are always needed to help departments with typing, filing, data entry and phone reception services. Special projects and events are often staffed by volunteer assistance.
  • Department assistance: Many departments find volunteers beneficial. Pharmacy, dietary, physical therapy, and central scheduling are just a few who benefit from volunteers.
  • Hands and Hearts from Home: Recognizing the many talents of our community members, volunteers are needed in providing handmade items such as hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and post-surgical pillows as well as providing donations of current magazines, puzzle books and other reading material. Please contact Volunteer Services for complete details.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Firelands Regional Medical Center, visit our Volunteer Services web page to sign up or for more information about our program, contact our director of volunteer services at 419-557-7460 or email volunteer@firelands.com.