Meet Our Volunteers: Spiritual Care

A Helping Spirit

Lois Dean of Sandusky has always enjoyed being around people, but she hadn’t considered volunteering until Ray Young, a gentleman at her church, recommended Firelands.

lois-volunteer

“He knew I liked to be around people, talk with people, and pray for people,” said Lois. “And he said, ‘Well I volunteer at the hospital and I do spiritual care there.”

Lois recalled that she had never thought about donating her time at the hospital, but it sounded like something she might enjoy doing.

“[Ray] started taking me around and just talking to people,” said Lois. “I think what got me the most is you never know what you’re going to walk into.”

Lois is currently coming up on her fifth year volunteering in Spiritual Care at Firelands. She has had many experiences that confirmed her decision to become a volunteer was the right one. 

“There was a patient… he was just scared. I was able to talk to him about the situation,” said Lois. “He was going through something that my brother had gone through and none of his family were there. He didn’t know where they were and if they would get there before he had to go in for this procedure.”

“It was scary for him.”

Lois said that by being there for him, she could assure him that it was going to be okay. “They are going to do what they need to do, find out what needs to be done, and I gave him some situations that my brother had gone through.” 

“I was able to relate to this young man and help him see that it was just one part of this. Once you get through this, you can go on,” said Lois. “I said there is a future. It’s just a part of it and you’ll be okay and then I prayed with him.”

“When I first went in he was just so withdrawn,” said Lois. “And by the end of it, you could tell it was a different atmosphere and he was very thankful I was there.”

Lois says it never ceases to amaze her when she comes in and catches someone during a time of need. She feels that God puts people there at the right moment to help others through a period of time that might be rough for them.

“You never know when that’s going to happen,” said Lois. “You can’t say it’s going to happen every time you go in. It doesn’t.”

“But when it does, you know that’s why you do this.”

What is a Spiritual Care Volunteer?

A spiritual care volunteer visits patients, offers emotional support, gives information on spiritual care services and access to clergy support for both the patient and their families. 

“To me, spiritual care is a two-fold. It’s to lift people’s spirits up and to offer prayer also.”

Spiritual care volunteers visit all newly admitted patients to offer emotional and spiritual support if needed. 

“A lot of times people don’t have anybody and just to talk to someone other than a nurse or a doctor or someone medical it just kind of lifts them up and puts them in a different mental attitude and spiritual attitude.”

Lois said one of her favorite things about volunteering at Firelands is being able to talk to people and make them feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar situation. She feels that to be able to reach out to patients and give them a comforting hand is very fulfilling for her. 

“If you have any desire at all to volunteer and to reach out, this is the place to do it. They have so many things to do whether it’s just to get coffee or the newspaper,” said Lois. “There is always a place somewhere.”

How Can I Volunteer

Do you want to volunteer, but don’t feel that spiritual care 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.