Posted by hclibrary on May 6, 2013 in Health, News | 0 comments
Happy National Nurses Day, everyone—in fact, happy National Nurses Week. Why everyone? I’m not a nurse, you are thinking. Well, frankly, most of us should be celebrating nurses because at some point or another our lives have probably been touched (quite literally) by a nurse. In fact, there are approximately 3.1 million licensed registered nurses (RNs) in the United States, of whom 2.6 million are actively employed in nursing. So that’s a lot of people we need to be thanking.
According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Nurses Week, founded in 1954, is celebrated annually from May 6, birthday of Florence Nightingale, through May 12. The theme for National Nurses Week 2013 is Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care. The theme is meant to call attention to “RNs and their contributions to the healthcare system–as expert clinicians in diverse care settings and as leaders who influence quality of care and overall performance of the system into the future.” The ANA wants to emphasize that:
…RNs are positioned to assume leadership roles in healthcare, provide primary care services to meet increased demand, implement strategies to improve the quality of care, and play a key role in innovative, patient-centered care delivery models. The nursing profession plays an essential role in improving patient outcomes, increasing access, coordinating care, and reducing healthcare costs. That is why both the Affordable Care Act and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report place nurses at the center of healthcare transformation in the United States.
The public wants leaders they can trust, and in 2012, Americans voted nurses the most trusted professionals in America for the 13th time in 14 years in the annual Gallup poll that ranks professions for their honesty and ethical standards. So overall, we have a good feeling about nurses, and we depend on them to lead us into what seems an often-frightening future of healthcare. Although there are concerns that as the demand for nurses grows, there will be a gap between supply and demand. As the ANA states, “Despite growth in the proportion of younger nurses for the first time since 1980, the nursing workforce still features a disproportionate number of nurses nearing retirement age.”
The ANA also gives a dynamite historical overview of National Nurses Week, if you want a true sense of how deeply felt our need and admiration of nurses goes. The ANA put it best when they said, “The public’s high regard for the profession, coupled with nurses’ education and skills, makes them well positioned to help transform the healthcare system into one that places more emphasis on prevention, wellness, and coordination of care.” And really, isn’t that the direction we all want to see healthcare go?
Check these out if you want …
…to learn more about the real-life experiences of nurses—Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle
I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
…to teach your little one about nurses—Nurses
Nurses Help Us
…to learn more about a career in nursing—Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing for the NCLEX-RN Examination
Posted by HCGH on May 3, 2013 in Classes, Events, Health | 0 comments
April/May. Cherrybration Days. The Blossoms of Hope project is helping to bring hope to individuals and families within our community who are coping with cancer through its contributions to Howard County General Hospital’s CLAUDIA MAYER CANCER RESOURCE CENTER. A variety of CHERRYBRATION DAYS events are held during the trees beautiful blossoming season each April. Check out the calendar of April events at www.blossomsofhope.org
May 4, 11:00 a.m. Chemists Celebrate Earth Day: Water. Join a chemist from the Army Research Laboratory and the American Chemical Society for hands-on experiments and a celebration of Earth Day at the Miller Branch. Ages 7 & up (7-8 year olds must be accompanied by an adult); 60 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Offered agan at 1:00 p.m.; register online or by calling 410.313.1950.
May 4, 2:00 p.m. Math Circle. Are you good at math? Do you love numbers? Join the HCLS Math Circle at the East Columbia Branch to learn about patterns and intricacies in the world of mathematics. Use logic and problem solving skills to solve brain teasing problems. Ages 11-14. Register online or by calling 410.313.7700.
May 6, 10:15 a.m. Just For Me. Class at the Savage Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. No registration required. Offered again on 5/8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Miller Branch. Also offered 5/10 at the Central Branch at 2:30 p.m.
May 6, 10:15 & 11:15 a.m. Twist and Shout. Music and movement at the Elkridge Branch for little ones with an adult. 30 min. Ages infant-5. No registration required.
May 6, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital. 1st & 3rd Mondays. A Well & Wise event. No registration required.
May 6, 7:00 p.m. Edible Bouquets for Mother’s Day. Turn the bounty of spring into a beautiful and unusual bouquet at the Miller Branch. Learn what is blooming in the Enchanted Garden, snip some veggies and herbs, and create a lovely gift to enjoy at home. Ages 9 & up; 60 min. Registration and signed release form required. Click here for the release form. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.
May 6, 7-8:30 p.m. Healthy Weight, Healthy You, Part 1 – Looking to Lose Weight? In part one of our Healthy Weight, Healthy You series, our certified nutritionist and registered dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet, and promote health. FREE. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia. Click on the link to register, or call 410 740-7601 for more information.
May 7, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. Baby Sign & Play. Learn basic signs in American Sign Language at the Central Branch. Ages 6-23 months with adult; 30 min. Six-week series. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.
May 7, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. The World Around Me: Me And My Family. A class at the East Columbia Branch exploring simple social studies concepts inspired by children’s literature. Focus on different family members each week through stories and crafts. Multi-week series. Ages 3-5; 45 min. Ticket available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.
May 7, 3:30 p.m. Caregiver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. FREE. Registration is required. Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information.
May 7, 7:00 p.m. Calling All Volunteers. Voluntering is good for you, so come to the Elkridge Branch to help make reading fun for kids and earn service learning hours. Volunteers assist HCLS instructors with the summer reading club and other tasks. To register for this orientation session, submit a volunteer application to the teen instructor at the branch where you would like to volunteer. Accepted applicants will be contacted to confirm registration. Ages 13-17. Register by calling 410.313.5088.
May 7, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation. Presented by Star Ferguson-Gooden, M.Ac., L.Ac. At the Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. In addition to her Master’s degree in Acupuncture, Star Ferguson-Gooden holds a Professional Certificate in Energetic Healing and is faculty at Tai Sophia Institute. She and her husband co-own their practice, Sage Center for Wellness, in historic Ellicott City. A Well & Wise event. In the Enchanted Garden. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.
May 8, 6:30 p.m. Welcome to Howard County. Come to the Central Branch to discover a wide array of social services and engaging activities for county residents. Presented by Howard County Tourism. Register online or by calling 410.313.7800.
May 9, 4:30 p.m. Enchanted Garden Club. Discover the joys of gardening at the Miller Branch. Learn gardening basics, grow flowers and vegetables from seeds, and help plan and maintain beds in our Enchanted Garden. Ages 9-11; 90 min. Registration and signed release form required. Register for each session separately. Click here for the May 9 Creative Container Gardens release form. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.
May 9, 7:00 -9:00 p.m. Pre-diabetes. What is Pre-Diabetes and what can you do about it? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis. $15. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia. Click on the link to register, or call 410 740-7601 for more information.
May 9, 7:00 p.m. Hands-Only CPR. Brad Tanner, from Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, teaches the basics of adult CPR and the warning signs for sudden cardiac arrest at the Elkridge Branch Branch. He also discusses the functions of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Participants are required to practice the Hands-Only CPR method on the provided mannequins as they are assisted by the instructor. This course is intended for all ages and recommended for individuals who wish to learn the basics of CPR. Registration required. A Well & Wise event. Note: Hands-Only CPR is a basic course and is designed to be performed without a CPR card. As a result, a CPR card is not issued upon course completion. Register online or by calling 410.313.5088.
May 9, 7:30 p.m. Get Fit with the Boot Camp Girl. Certified personal trainer and yoga instructor Stephanie Dignan comes the the Glenwood Branch to teach how to achieve fitness goals with a series of classes. Come to one or all three. An exercise release form is required for the April session. Please bring a mat or towel. A Well & Wise event. Click here for the exercise release form for adults 18 and over. Click here for the exercise release from for children under 18. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.
May 10, 2-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmers’ Market – Opening Day. Join us for the Opening Day of the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Free HCGH grocery tote bags to first 50 customers and seasonal recipes. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.
May 12, 8:00 a.m. Hills of Milltown 5K Challenge. Scenic, challenging, historic race route with cash and gift certificate prizes totally more than $500. Proceeds to benefit Howard County General Hospital’s Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center. Ellicott City – Lot F off of Ellicott Mills Drive. The entry Fee of $35 includes a race t-shirt.
May 13, 7-8:30 p.m. Healthy Weight, Healthy You, Part 2 –Kitchen Wisdom. They say that variety is the spice of life! In part two of our Healthy Weight, Healthy You series, sample foods and learn how to spice up healthy meals with herbs and spices for a variety of taste. Free. Register for one or both parts. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia. Click on the link to register, or call 410 740-7601 for more information.
May 14 or May 16. Skin Cancer Screening. Worried about a funny looking mole? Our HCGH dermatologist will examine your area of concern. (Due to time limitations, a full-body exam will not be performed.) Appointment are slots available between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Free. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia. Click on the link to register, or call 410 740-7601 for more information.
Posted by hclibrary on May 2, 2013 in Health | 0 comments
By Cherise Tasker
by noir imp on Flickr
When finding your daughter under the covers reading with a flashlight, do you:
A. Remind her it’s past her bedtime.
B. Worry that her vision will be harmed by poor lighting.
C. Decide to buy her an e-reader for her birthday.
D. All of the above.
The lighting we use when reading affects our eye comfort. If the light is poor, we may experience eye fatigue. We may blink less often, leading to an increased feeling of dry eyes. We may hold the book closer or at an angle causing headache or neck pain. Reading in a dimly lit area, however, has not been found to impact eye health, according to expert sources including the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). So while we might decide to enforce bedtime, we do not have to ban reading by flashlight.
When we age, a normal condition called presbyobia occurs. Usually starting around age 40 and worsening until about age 60, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible. The ciliary muscles, which control the degree of curvature of the lens and allow our eyes to focus, become weaker. The changes result in presbyobia, a condition that causes difficulty focusing on nearby objects and inability to read well in low light. In this situation as well, increasing the amount of light used while reading adds to eye comfort. The AAO advises that it is the brightness of the light that is important and not whether the light is white or yellow.
As reading with e-readers, smart phones and tablets increases, the issue of lighting takes on additional technical considerations. Eye strain associated with computer use now becomes a concern when reading with an electronic device. Computer use has been associated with a decrease in the number of times we blink our eyes, leading to eye strain and discomfort. AAO recommendations include positioning the screen so that you are looking downward, reminding yourself to blink and taking regular breaks. It is important to rest your eyes and look up and out from the screen to allow your eyes to focus on objects that are in the distance. The so-called 20/20/20 rule encourages taking a 20-second break looking at an object 20 feet away for every 20 minutes of computer work.
If you are reading materials in an electronic format, there are several points to remember. Glare from a light pointing directly at the screen or streaming in from a window can make reading uncomfortable. Do not point a lamp directly at the device. If you read near a window, position yourself with the window off to the side or use a window shade to limit the glare. When choosing an e-reader or monitor, keep in mind that matte glass causes less eye strain. Consider features such as color contrast adjustment, font size options and background lighting. Crisp contrast between text and background makes reading easier. Of note, the eye must focus and refocus more often when looking at different colors or images, so reading text in a uniform font and traditional black and white contrast may allow you – and your daughter – to read comfortably for longer periods of time.
Posted by HCGH on Apr 30, 2013 in Health | 0 comments
Howard County General Hospital is celebrating 40 years of caring for generations! In honor of that milestone, here’s a list of 40 healthy tips for kids. How many are a part of your regular routine? Join us on May 18 for “Springing Up Healthy” at the Columbia Mall to learn more!
- Be a germ fighter! Encourage children to use hand sanitizer and wash hands with soap and water before eating. Teach kids to sing Happy Birthday or the ABC’s while soaping up at the sink to ensure they wash for at least 15 seconds.
- Catch some Zzzzz’s. Lack of sleep in children can lead to irritability, anxiety and behavior issues.
- What’s up doc? Make your child’s annual well check a yearly must-do. These yearly visits provide your child with necessary immunizations, chart growth and physical development, and ensure developmental and social milestones are being met. Log on to hcgh.org to find a pediatrician near you.
- Seen and heard. Vision and hearing screenings should be a regular part of your child’s annual check-up. For a list of ophthalmologists, visit hcgh.org
- Save your skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Protect children’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun, stay away from tanning beds and promote sunscreen use to help minimize risks from sun exposure.
- Brush those pearly whites. Pediatric dentists agree that dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice a year. Check out the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s dental checklist to learn more about pediatric dental hygiene.
- Allergy alert. Food allergies have become increasingly common and some can be life threatening. Be prepared – learn more about what signs to look for in your child.
- Prevent poisonings. Accidental poisoning is a leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. Keep the Maryland Poison Center’s hotline number handy – 1-800-222-1222.
- Reveal how you feel. Help young children find constructive ways to talk about and deal with their feelings to help avoid anxiety and even depression.
- Tense times. Childhood anxiety is not uncommon; eight to 10 percent of children have anxiety disorders. Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Anxiety Disorders Program can help parents learn how to deal with and understand a child’s anxiety.
- Stranger danger. Teach kids early on not to talk to strangers. Children should learn to be aware of their surroundings and know not to go with any unfamiliar adults.
- Protect that head. Maryland law requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injury in children by up to 85 percent. Learn more at sha.maryland.gov.
- Know the signs of ADHD. One of the most common chronic conditions of childhood, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) makes it hard for children to control their behavior and can interfere with their daily lives at home and school.
- Up and at ‘em! Get out and move as a family – riding bikes, playing a game of tag or walking the dog together are easy ways to fit exercise into your day. Find other fun ways to stay active at stayactivehowardcounty.org.
- Be an engaged parent. Howard County has a number of programs, workshops and valuable resources for parents through the Howard County Family Institute, visit co.ho.md.us.
- Don’t wait- vaccinate. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about annual routine immunizations, including the flu vaccine.
- Is your seat safe? Contact the certified child passenger safety technicians at The Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center to install your child’s car seat correctly. The installation and inspection service is $10, or free for families who qualify. Call 410-955-6276. The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services also offers child safety seat inspections. Call 410-313-6090 to schedule an appointment.
- Mommies matter. HCGH has many valuable programs and wellness classes to help new mothers be successful. Infant care, breastfeeding and new mother support classes are held at HCGH throughout the year. Visit hcgh.org.
- Power to the family. Healthy Families Howard County is part of the Healthy Families America Initiative, a free, national program that identifies first-time parents in the community, aligns them with community resources and offers them support in their new role as parents. For information, visit hcgh.org
- Back to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Back to Sleep Campaign recommend that babies under one year of age be placed on their backs to sleep to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Learn more at sidscenter.org.
- Be book smart. Reading to your baby and toddler is great for bonding and it starts them on the road to a lifetime love of books. Read favorite books as part of your child’s bedtime routine.
- Practice safe sports! Approximately 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger are treated for sports-related injuries each year. Have children wear properly fitted protective equipment, including helmets, and encourage them to stay well hydrated. We hope that injuries don’t happen, but if they do, our Pediatric Emergency Room and orthopedic specialists are here when you need care.
- Be a team player. Playing a sport is not just great exercise, it also teaches kids about teamwork and respect, and encourages lasting friendships as well as self-confidence.
- Noggin know-how. If your child suffers a head injury, seek medical attention and know the signs of a concussion: neck pain, nausea, dizziness, balance problems and sensitivity to light. Following a head injury, talk to your child’s pediatrician for the “all clear” before returning to sports or other activities.
- Just say no! School-aged kids are not too young to learn about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. Find valuable articles and resources through Howard County Drug Free at hcdrugfree.org
- Drop that weapon. Teach kids about gun safety. Securely lock up guns and keep them away from curious little hands. Never keep live ammunition in any weapons in your home.
- Contents under pressure. The need to be liked and accepted by one’s peers begins at an early age. Talk to kids about avoiding negative peer pressure and the importance of surrounding themselves with good friends and support systems.
Pre-teens and adolescents
- Surf safely. Kids have access to just about everything, thanks to the Internet. Put parental controls on family computers and monitor the websites your child visits, including social media sites.
- Driven to distraction. Distracted driving can result in serious injury and even death. The dangers of texting and driving are real; set clear rules about no cell phone use while driving.
- Stop drunk driving. Learn how to talk to teens about the dangers of underage drinking and driving at madd.org.
- Ban the butts. Teach kids about the health dangers of smoking and provide them with a smoke-free environment. If you smoke, consider quitting with the help of HCGH’s Smoking Cessation program “Smoke Free Lungs.”
- Say no to bullying. Teach kids at an early age about the negative effects of bullying. A 2002 CDC survey estimates that approximately 30 percent of teens have been involved in bullying as a victim, spectator or perpetrator.
- Stick up for yourself. Kids who are interested in learning about self-defense will benefit from HCGH’s Kids Self Defense program where they are taught the basic principles of safety awareness and age appropriate self-defense techniques.
- Home alone. Is your “tween” ready to stay home alone? HCGH offers a free class called “Home Sweet Home” to help get kids ready.
- Adventures in babysitting. Learning how to manage young children and knowing what to do in an emergency situation will prepare teens for the responsibilities of babysitting. Take HCGH’s “Essentials in Babysitting” course.
- Let’s talk about sex. Talk to your kids about their changing bodies. Make sure to educate them about safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure and teen pregnancy.
- When to see a gynecologist. Young women can begin visiting a gynecologist at age 13 to 15, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, but pelvic exams may not be recommended at that age. For a list of gynecologists, visit hcgh.org/findadoctor.
- Snack smart. Encourage children to reach for healthy foods that will satisfy hunger rather than the empty calories and fat of fast food.
- Be a healthy kid. Learn how to make a healthy, well-balanced diet part of your children’s lives at HCGH’s Springing up Healthy Kids Clinic at the Columbia Mall May 18.
- Shed the sugar. Join the fight against childhood obesity. Learn how to limit sugary drinks in your child’s diet at Howard County Unsweetened – hocounsweetened.org.
Picture by bottled_void via Flickr.
Oh, no! Oh cripes! Is it April 25 already? We didn’t mean to wait this late to let you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month.
We all have experienced stress, which MedlinePlus defines as “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation; a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium .” But what are some of the common physical, chemical, and emotional factors?
Physical factors are exactly what you’d think they’d be. Anyone dealing with illness or chronic pain is prone to stress. A physical condition, even one that is temporary, that is inhibiting a person from something they want or need to do can be a great source of stress. For example, if you have a foot injury that is limiting your mobility and you have three small children at home, you are going to be stressed. Elderly people who find some of their physical abilities slipping, may experience greater amounts of stress. Additionally, poor diet and lack of sleep, excessive travel, noise and crowds, clutter, surgery, and seasonal changes can also be some common contributors to stress. And, annoyingly, stress can, in turn, exacerbate existing physical problems and/or lead to more.
Chemical factors of stress can crossover with the physical if you consider things such as hormonal changes due to factors like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc. One of the main chemical culprits appears to be an imbalance of neurotransmitters, and here’s where stress and depression and anxiety often intersect (a much larger topic for another day). And yes, external chemicals such as illegal drugs, or improper or overuse of prescription drugs (stress and anxiety are sometimes even side effects of some medications), smoking, alcohol abuse, too much caffeine, and poor diet are stressors too. Chemical factors may also include environmental elements such as pollution and toxins. As with physical stressors, the more chemical influences you have, the more your stress levels and internal chemicals can be affected.
Finally, emotional and mental stressors—the big ones. The easy answers to what are the greatest emotional/mental causes of stress are change and outlook. But it is waaaaaay more complicated than that. Concrete examples would include loss of a loved one, relationship troubles, overloaded work schedule, pessimistic outlook, low self-esteem… really the list goes on and on.
As mentioned before, a lot of these physical, chemical, and emotional factors of stress can often lead to the chicken or egg question as the conditions that cause stress can be increased or worsened by, well…stress. But the important thing seems to be to recognize when you are stressed and do something about it. Sometimes talking to someone (a doctor can be especially helpful) is all you need to get the stress relief rolling. There are also some simple things you can try to help alleviate stress. Most stress-relief methods involve reducing stressors in your life or finding activities that can calm you. Here are items that might help in your quest to do both:
A Calm Brain: Unlocking Your Natural Relaxation System
Element. Yoga for Stress Relief and Flexibility
Shakuhachi Flute Meditations: Zen Music to Calm the Mind
Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
Posted by HCGH on Apr 23, 2013 in Health, News | 0 comments
Volunteering at Howard County General Hospital
This week we celebrate National Healthcare Volunteer Week in recognition of the support that volunteers and auxilians provide to hospital staff, their patients, family members, and within the community. Volunteers and Auxilians practically predate the hospital, itself as they were some of the biggest supporters for building a hospital in rapidly developing Howard County. Volunteers serve in many sections of the hospital, whether with patients or in supporting administrative roles, their work is essential to what we do. From Junior volunteers and summer interns to Senior volunteers they’ve been with us every step of the way. In addition to the direct patient services they’ve provided over the years, they’ve founded Centers like the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, established hospital consignment shops and raised funds for our capital campaigns.
Mrs. Dorothy Brooker, a Howard County General volunteer for 26 years talks about her role and what it has meant to her.
Q. How long have you been a volunteer?
A. 26 years
Q. Where have you volunteered?
A. I volunteered with the auxiliary beginning in the 1980’s holding various positions such has treasurer, program chair, etc. I now volunteer once a week in the hospitals gift shop.
Q. What made you want to become a volunteer?
A. I lived in Buffalo, New York where I raised my 4 children and eventually worked in the school education system before retiring and moving to Columbia in 1986. The winters were getting too cold and bitter in New York, and I was ready to move closer to my children including my daughter who resides in Columbia. I went to the hospital for an exercise class I was interested in, and noticed the volunteer office. I inquired, and they said they needed volunteers with the auxiliary.
Q. Tell me about what it used to be like when you started volunteering in the 1980’s?
A. It was great fun; I really enjoyed the people. I enjoyed meeting so many new people, and making new friends. I found volunteering to be interesting and it kept me very busy.
Q. Tell me what it is like now?
A. I don’t feel it has changed too drastically. The hospital has expanded, and the gift shop location has moved about 5 times since I started. We are busier, but it has continued to be great fun for me. I still really enjoy greeting customers and meeting new people.
Q. Do you have a favorite volunteer story?
A. I won the Betty Stant Award for best volunteer, which included a fancy dinner where I had a great time. Also, when I’m not volunteering at the hospital, I will run into people who I’ve met while working in the gift shop and they recognize me and I remember them. We have customers who are no longer patients or staying at the hospital, but will come in to browse the gift shop because they really like the items we sell.
Q. How has volunteering made you feel personally?
A. It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. I enjoy being with people, and I feel like I am helping the hospital, helping people, and it keeps me very busy. I look forward every week to working in the gift shop. I even plan my vacations and appointments around Wednesdays, so I can be sure I’ll be there each week.
Q. How would you relate volunteering to your health?
A. I am blessed to be healthy, and with volunteering it helps me to stay active and busy, while also interacting with people and meeting new people.
Thank you, Mrs. Brooker- and all of the volunteers who have served the hospital so well over the last 40 years! Happy National Healthcare Volunteer Week!