Priority Volunteer Opportunities
Select an opportunity to read description
Gift Shop - Most people do not realize our gift shop provides emotional support to patients, families and guests. The warm, welcoming atmosphere helps reduce stress and provides a calming diversion from the long hours of waiting and anxiousness associated the healthcare environment.
General store clerking tasks are required of gift shop volunteers.
Most importantly, shop volunteers provide a sincere, warm welcome to our hospital and focus on making our customers feel they are the most important person in the shop.
Service hours are: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Weekends 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Front Lobby Escort This service is just the ticket for individuals who like to walk and stay physically fit. Additionally, volunteers on this service possess a love of people and a desire to do all they can to make a person's first impression of Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa a positive one! Did you know helping others releases the same "feel good" endorphins as physical exercise?
Front lobby volunteer escorts receive a "double dose" of feeling good when helping people find their way around our campus by escorting them to their destination. Escort volunteering requires: To be physically fit; ability to push people in wheelchairs, ability to withstand frequent and/or lengthy periods of walking; a natural smile and gregarious personality which allows you to be comfortable in greeting people and being proactive in offering your help, a clear understanding that the focus of the escort volunteer service area is the patients and guests and to insure a positive, first impression to all who enter our doors.
Service hours are: 7:30 a.m. to noon and noon to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Surgery Waiting Room This service has 3 service areas.
Surgery Waiting Room 1 - all surgery patients check in with this volunteer. Using scripting and pagers, surgery patients and families are guided through the surgery process from checking in for surgery to consulting with the doctor after surgery to reuniting the family with the patient after recovery. Volunteers in this position need: good hearing; good telephone skills; strong organizational skills; sincere, positive attitude; calm, professional demeanor especially during peak usage times; clear understanding that our patient and family needs come first and that volunteers are focused on making our guests visit to the waiting room and our health care center a positive experience.
Service hours are: 6:00 - 10:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 1:00 - 4:30 or 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Early Birds Needed
Surgery Waiting Room 2 - all endoscopy patients check in with this volunteer. Using scripting and pagers, the endoscopy patient and their driver are guided through the endoscopy process from checking in to consulting with the doctor to discharge. Volunteers in this position need: good hearing, good telephone skills, strong organizational skills; sincere, positive attitude; calm, professional demeanor especially during peak usage times; clear understanding that our patient and family needs come first and that volunteers are focused on making our guests visit to the waiting room and our health care center a positive experience.
Service hours are: 6:00 - 10:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 1:00 - 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Surgery Waiting Room 3 - escorting patients and families to various areas on 2nd floor are the duties of this volunteer. Scripting and ID slips help provide accurate service. Volunteers in this position need: good hearing; ability to handle moderate to heavy periods of walking; sincere, positive attitude; clear understanding that our patient and family needs come first and that volunteers are focused on making our guests visit to the waiting room and our health care center a positive experience.
Service hours are: 8:00 a.m. - noon Monday through Friday
Glaucoma Screening - Many North Iowans utilize this volunteer service to monitor their eye pressure between doctor visits. Volunteers learn to use the tonometer to check eye pressure.
The tonometer technology is such that learning to use this equipment is quite easy. Volunteers in this position need: good eye-hand coordination; sincere, positive attitude; calm, professional demeanor; a clear understanding that volunteer service areas focus on the needs of the patient and the goal is to provide a positive experience to all patients and guests.
Service hours are: 9:00 a.m. - noon on Tuesdays
MAP (Medication Assistance Program) - Using a web-based software program, MAP volunteers help individuals with financial need access prescription medications directly from the pharmaceutical company. The process includes an initial intake form to determine eligibility and quarterly submission of medication information to insure a consistent supply of medication for the client. MAP volunteers must possess the following: computer skills, attention to detail, organization, ability to work independently, patience.
Service hours: flexible
Patient Registration - Volunteers in this service area escort the patient and family to various areas of the hospital. Patient Registration volunteer requirements are:
- must be physically fit and able to withstand moderate to heavy periods of walking;
- must be able to push patients in wheelchairs;
- must possess natural smile and friendly personality which helps put patients at ease and diminishes the stress that oftentimes associated with the health care environment.
SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) - This program is an essential resource for all individuals who are close to retirement or who going on Medicare and who are needing information on supplemental plans, drug plans, long-term care insurance. SHIIP is a national volunteer program supported by the federal government.
SHIPP Counselor - If you have gone through the process of understanding and selecting a supplement or Part D drug plan or have ever had to help your parents or other relatives through this process, you have first hand knowledge on how confusing and frustrating it can be. Through the Iowa state SHIIP office, volunteer SHIIP counselors receive training on topics concerning Medicare, Part D drug plans, first time Medicare users benefits, preventative health care services, long term health insurance, and other health care coverage. SHIIP counselors receive 6 days of training (broken into 3-day sessions), participate in quarterly update meetings, and complete an annual recertification as a SHIIP counselor. SHIIP counselors must possess the following: computer skills, interest in fact finding, patience, likes solving puzzles and doing research, ability to work independently, detail work, enjoy working with the older population.
Service hours: flexible. Open enrollment for Part D drug plans is November 15 to December 31 each year. Extra help during this time is greatly appreciated and needed.
SHIIP Data Entry -
- 1-2 days a week (or less) during January through September
- Daily during October, November, December
- This position can be done at home.
This position involves entering of client medication information onto the medicare.gov comparison tool which results in a comparison that is used by the SHIIP counselor when meeting with clients. This SHIIP position requires an individual who possesses strong computer and organizational skills. Additionally, this individual needs to be detail orientated, enjoys a challenge, is a lifelong learner, is adaptable to change, and is patient. Training and support are provided by the state SHIIP office and Mercy Volunteer Services department.
SHIIP Office Support -
- 2-3 days a week during January through September
- 5 days a week during October, November, December
- Part of responsibilities could be done from home.
- Hours flexible
This position involves listening to voice mail messages, returning calls, making appointments, mailing out forms. The individual in this position must have strong communication, listening and telephone usage skills; must be detail-oriented organized, patient, enjoys learning, adaptable to change, and an independent worker.
Westside Pharmacy Clerical Support - This volunteer helps maintain order to various types of pharmacy paperwork. The time commitment for this position is 2 hours per week. Day and time are flexible. This volunteer must be detail oriented, organized, and an independent worker.
At Home Volunteer Opportunity - This volunteer position will provide support to SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) by returning calls to people who have left information on the SHIIP voice mail; sending out materials needed prior to a SHIIP consultation and setting up appointments with SHIIP counselors. Requirements for this position are: excellent communication and telephone skills, computer skills, attention to detail, flexibility, adaptability to change, patience, open to on-going training and education in regard to Medicare programs.
Other Volunteer Service Opportunities:
Critical Care Waiting Room
Early Bird Needed
4 East Nursing Unit
Wheelchair Round up
Same Day Surgery
For more information about Mercy Volunteer Services or to set up a time for a personal interview please contact:
Candace A. Moore, Director
Mercy Volunteer Services
or toll free 1-800-433-3883.
A volunteer is like a rare gem. When placed in the right setting and cared for, they will shine and give pleasure to all who see them.
Mercy Volunteer Services Has A Wide Variety of Volunteer Opportunities To Help YOU Add 10 Years to Your Life!
Several years ago, I was driving to work and listening to a radio host ask the typical morning quiz questions. The question that day was, "What one thing can you do to add up to 10 years to your life?"
I was interested in hearing the answer, so I took my time driving in, while callers were guessing with a variety of answers.
"Quit smoking" was one guess. "Nope," responded the radio host.
"Exercise more" was another response. "Good guess, but no again," was the reply.
"Take more time off." "Drink a glass of red wine." "Take a daily dose of aspirin." On and on came the guesses. All met with the same answer: no.
Finally, the radio host announced that the one thing you can do to add up to 10 years to your life is to volunteer.
Citing a research study the radio station was relying on, the host went on to say that volunteers maintained their mental alertness, had a more positive outlook on life, benefited from increased social interaction, enjoyed a sense of purpose and belonging, and increased those little brain endorphins that provide natural tranquilizing qualities that we all need from time to time, some more than others.
I have not read the research, and this is strictly hearsay based on what I heard that radio show host discuss, but the concept is plausible.
Another point that has to be considered is that perhaps the type of people who give of themselves naturally live longer than others, especially longer than the "what's in it for me" variety.
A down side to volunteering that I have witnessed is the amount of criticism volunteers receive from those they are trying to serve. Whether they serve as committee chairs for social organizations, help nonprofit organizations, or serve as civic or governmental board members, people will judge, criticize and condemn their contributions.
Therein might be a better radio show question: "What one thing can you do to shave 10 years off your life?" Answer: Sit back and be judgmental, critical, cynical and spiteful to others.
Lester Aradi, Guest Columnist St. Petersburg Times Tampa Bay FL