Become a Volunteer
MICs Group of Health Services welcomes the contribution of volunteers to assist in carrying out the Mission of the organization. A volunteer is an individual who enters a service of his/her own free will and without monetary remuneration. This includes non-paid staff members.
The Volunteer program for MICs Group of Health Services hospitals and long-term care homes is an organized group of volunteers with the overall goal of providing assistance to patients and residents. They contribute to the comfort and well-being of patients/residents and their families for the duration of their association with MICs. They provide friendship, one on one interaction and involvement with the community as well as contributing with unique skills to the activity programs. They may also act as advocates for the patients/residents by bringing forward questions and concerns to the appropriate staff member.
The volunteer program has several components:
- Orientation & training
- Supervision & monitoring
- Record keeping
- Performance & evaluation
The philosophy of the volunteer program is to:
- Enhance the quality of life of patients and residents
- To provide social opportunities such as:
- Meeting new people
- Making new friends
- Relieving boredom & monotony
- Encourage patients’/residents’ independence with use of their skills
- Improve self esteem
- Enhance the number of available activity programs
- Increase the opportunities for patients/residents to have contact with various members of the community
- Use the extensive knowledge, skills and experience of a diverse group of people
- Give the volunteers the opportunity to share particular hobbies and interests with patients/residents, staff and families
Volunteer recruitment & screening
All prospective volunteers will complete an assessment to ensure their suitability for the volunteer setting, service to patients/residents and their families, and in order to control risk and ensure the best quality of services is provided.
Recruitment strategies may include personal contact, newspaper articles and advertisements, presentations, public service announcements and information posted on the MICs Group of Health Care Services’ website.
Interested potential applicants will be directed to the MICs Group of Health Services website for information regarding the Volunteer Services Program. The volunteer application form can be found on the website and is also provided to potential applicants in hard copy.
Potential volunteer candidates are asked to:
- Complete an application form that includes references
- Undergo a police vulnerable sector check
- Attend a selection interview
- Participate in orientation and training specific to their placement
Volunteer Application Form
Vulnerable Sector Check
Board Application Package
All prospective volunteers will be interviewed to determine the appropriateness of the volunteer to assist within the facility. The potential volunteer:
- Must complete the volunteer application form and selection interview.
- Must provide a Police Vulnerable Sector Check. Such certificate will be dated no more than 6 months prior to the initiation of the volunteer placement.
- Must be no younger than 18 years of age.
- Can be under the age of 18 years if they are a secondary school student looking to complete their required community involvement hours.
- Must provide verification of current immunization for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
- Influenza immunization is recommended. Volunteers who cannot or choose not to be immunized will be asked to consider wearing a mask at all times while volunteering throughout the duration of the influenza season. Volunteers will not be permitted to volunteer if an outbreak occurs.
Application forms will be reviewed and individual interviews arranged with applicants prior to acceptance and placement in a volunteer position.
The interview should:
- Provide information about the facility and the volunteer roles available.
- Outline the requirements and expectations of the volunteer roles.
- Create an atmosphere of trust between the volunteer and the direct supervisor.
- Lead to a decision of the appropriate placement of the volunteer.
- Determine why they wish to volunteer.
- Discuss the applicant’s previous volunteer history and what they enjoyed about their previous experiences as well as what they did not enjoy.
- Determine that the applicant is committed to the mission, vision and values of the MICs Group of Health Services.
- Determine if they have an understanding of the role they would be filling.
- Determine if they are enthusiastic about the opportunity to volunteer.
- Determine whether or not the applicant demonstrates emotional maturity, flexibility, tolerance, empathy, dependability, good listening skills, an ability to maintain standards of confidentiality and a non-judgmental attitude.
- Determine if the applicant prefers group or individual settings.
Upon completion of a satisfactory interview, successful Police Vulnerable Sector Check, and the receipt of positive references, the new volunteer will join the MICs Group of Health Services Volunteer Program team. If a candidate is not selected after an interview or at any point in the process, he/she will be informed by letter and/or telephone call.
There will be a 6 month probationary period to observe the volunteer’s participation, conduct and dedication to the program. At the end of the probation period, the volunteer’s direct supervisor will consult with the Care Transitions Coordinator to review the volunteer’s suitability to the program. A meeting will be scheduled with the volunteer to review their performance.
Each volunteer will undergo regular performance reviews. An updated Police Vulnerable Sector Check may be requested.
Following their selection, new volunteers will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and participate in placement specific orientation and training.
High school students under the age of 18 who are looking to complete their required community involvement hours may participate in the volunteer program and must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Criminal reference check is not required for students under the age of 18.
- High school students can only volunteer in the long-term care setting.
- Students are encouraged to be paired up with another volunteer or to participate in group activities (i.e. bingo or other activity).
- If the recreation therapist/activities coordinator cannot supervise, this must be delegated to regulated staff who is working at the time of the activity.
A volunteer’s placement supervisor will be based upon the volunteer’s placement within the organization. Based on location of service, the volunteer will be supervised by:
|Long-Term Facilities||Recreation Therapist/Activities Coordinator|
|Hospital (Complex Continuing Care/Alternative Level of Care)||Patient Care Manager|
|Hospice||Care Transitions Coordinator|
Volunteer standards of conduct
MICs Group of Health Services is committed to maintaining the privacy rights of its patients and all persons. MICs requires all persons to maintain the confidentiality and correctness of all personal health information.
All information concerning patients/residents is strictly confidential. As a volunteer, patients/residents may be confiding in you. What is said during your volunteering is to remain confidential and must not be discussed outside the facility.
- Do not make suggestions to a patient/resident about medications of any type. Some patients/residents may ask you to bring laxatives, aspirin, etc. This is supplied to them.
- Never suggest a doctor’s name, treatment or medication to patients/residents.
- Do not make promises to patients/residents you cannot keep. Notify your direct placement supervisor if you cannot attend a prior commitment.
- Do not accept money, gifts or clothing from patients/residents.
- Inappropriate language will not be tolerated in the facility. If it becomes a persistent problem, you will be asked to leave the program.
- Please show patients/residents and fellow team members respect. There is an expectation of everyone to show courtesy to one another.
- When taking a patient/resident out of the building, please seek prior approval from and report to your direct placement supervisor.
- Encourage but do not force a patient/resident to participate in activities. They have the right to participate or not.
- Refer any patient/resident complaints to your direct placement supervisor.
Volunteer dress code
The MICs Group of Health Services requires all volunteers to present themselves in a professional manner with regards to attire, personal hygiene and appearance. Volunteers will dress appropriately for the conditions and performance of their duties. Suitable and safe footwear is required.
When assisting in gathering patients/residents for activities or visiting a patient/resident, the following guidelines will be followed:
- Do not enter a patient’s/resident’s room if they are in bed. They have been given the option to attend the activity and have decided to rest instead. If they are in bed, there is a reason; please respect their decision.
- If a nurse or a doctor should enter the room when you are with a patient/resident, please leave the room.
- Please do not enter a patient’s/resident’s room if the door or curtain is closed. This is their home; it is only appropriate to knock before entering.
- All volunteer programs will be completed by 8:00 pm unless it has been confirmed by the volunteer’s direct placement supervisor.
- Do not transfer any patient/resident.
- Do not toilet any patient/resident; instead, please inform the nursing staff.
- These actions have serious consequences including injury to a patient/resident or yourself, and possible liability issues.
- Please respect our nursing staff. Our dedicated nursing staff are very busy. Please understand that they are doing everything they can to meet the needs of all of our patients/residents and therefore they will not always be readily available to the volunteers. They will do everything they can to assist patients/residents who are requesting to participate in activities.
- Volunteers should not be assisting in feeding unless trained by the dietitian. Ask a staff member before giving a patient/resident food or drinks. Many of our patients/residents have diet restrictions. It is important to keep this in mind at all times.
- Promote a positive attitude.
- Please do not accept money or gifts from patients/residents.
- If unsure on any matter, please ask before you act.
- Give patients/residents a chance to teach you about life in general; you will treasure it someday.
The time and caring spirit that volunteers contribute is very much appreciated by the staff and the patients/residents. Volunteers make our facility feel more like a home. A volunteer’s time and efforts will not go unnoticed. These guidelines are set out for the protection of the volunteers as well as the patients/residents.
Registrar & record keeping
For reporting and funding purposes, volunteers must keep record of the number of hours spent volunteering and the activities completed. Likewise, all volunteers must sign in and out of the building. This is done through the completion of the volunteer timesheet.
- Report to your direct placement supervisor upon your arrival.
- Complete the designated timesheet by signing your name, the date, the time, the activity you are assisting with, and who you are providing support to. When you have completed your volunteer responsibilities, please sign out using the same timesheet.
- This record will be used by your direct placement supervisor to keep track of the hours and visits.
When signing in and before the commencement of any volunteer activity, you must obtain and wear your volunteer badge. This helps staff, patients/residents, family members and visitors identify who you are. Without this badge, you will not be considered a volunteer. When visiting a friend or family member, you are a visitor, not a volunteer.
Orientation & training
Volunteers will participate in the MICs volunteer general orientation prior to assuming their role within the facility. The volunteer’s direct placement supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that the volunteer has adequate knowledge in order to fulfill their role.
MICs Group of Health Services is committed to offering training opportunities to volunteers in order to enhance the quality of care and service provided. It is the policy of MICs that volunteers are encouraged to attend educational sessions provided at the facility and elsewhere to improve their knowledge, skill and awareness during their term of service. Learning opportunities offered by MICs and other agencies will be communicated to volunteers.
The volunteer’s direct placement supervisor is responsible for providing and/or arranging for the volunteer’s general orientation. Additional orientation and training may be required and will be based upon the volunteer’s scope and area of placement.