Griffin Hospital is seeking volunteers for its innovative Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and Vital Patient Stories programs which benefit patients and volunteers alike.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, individuals who volunteer in their community experience physical and mental health benefits by receiving a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment. As a hospital committed to the Planetree patient-centered model of care, Griffin offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that allow individuals to use their skills in providing a more comfortable and therefore better healing environment for patients.
Griffin’s Volunteers offer many complimentary services to provide comfort and care to patients, especially through its Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and Vital Patient Stories programs.
Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are healing therapies volunteers offer to inpatients. Reiki is a complementary healing modality based on ancient healing practices that involves the conscious direction of healing energy through the practitioner’s hands to the patient. When channeled properly, this energy promotes healing by relieving energy blockages to the body. The practice of Reiki is intended to bring balance to the energy fields thereby promoting healing on all levels. Therapeutic Touch is holistic evidence-based practice that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being. It is based on the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. This energy is said to be balanced or made stronger by practitioners who pass their hands over, or gently touch, a patient’s body.
Reiki and Therapeutic Touch volunteers must complete training at Griffin Hospital or be certified in Reiki Level 1 or had basic Therapeutic Touch Training.
Vital Patient Stories volunteers visit and interview patients to capture their personal stories, memorable events and unique personalities. The interview is composed into a concise and often touching first-person narrative that is printed on decorative paper and presented to the patient as a gift. With the patient’s permission, a copy is placed with his or her medical chart so the medical staff can read it and get to know the patient as a person.
“These patient stories lead to a more personal relationship between the patient and the caregivers,” said Griffin Health Services Volunteer Program & Guest Relations Supervisor Kathy Browne. “Our Vital Patient Stories volunteers are truly amazing individuals and wonderfully skilled writers that help break down the walls between patient and clinician. The program proves that talking and sharing is a worthwhile part of the healing process, and underscores the fact that patient-centered care starts by getting to know the patient.”
Every Griffin Hospital volunteer is required to attend a two-hour orientation, followed by a training session for their particular assignment. After four hours of weekly service, volunteers are entitled to a free meal ticket at the hospital’s Dining Room.
For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities at Griffin Hospital, call 203-732-7555 or visit griffinhealth.org/volunteer.