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Palliative care volunteers set to return to Pontiac Hospital

Palliative care volunteers set to return to Pontiac Hospital

21 July 2022 à 12:00 am

The volunteers who help out in the palliative care ward at the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville could soon return to their posts later this summer for the first time in more than two years.

Volunteer coordinator Rick Valin explained that they hadn’t been allowed in the hospital since the start of the pandemic due to public health precautions. He said that they would be holding a meeting with hospital representatives next Wednesday, July 27, to give volunteers an update on COVID protocols. He said if everything went according to plan, they would be able to return to their duties by August 1.

Valin explained that the volunteers aren’t allowed to give any medical support, but try to make palliative patients and their families as comfortable as possible. He gave examples of their tasks, such as making coffee for visitors or simply talking with patients who are alone.

As many of the volunteers are elderly themselves or had circumstances change over the course of the pandemic, Valin said that they were looking at only about two-thirds of their group returning. While Valin was pleased that they would be able to help again, he said that if the situation with COVID changes in the near future, they could be back where they started.

To bolster their numbers, Valin said that they would be holding a training session for new recruits in mid-September. Prospective volunteers must go through an interview process prior to their training to determine if they are fit for the difficulties and nuances of the work.

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