In the fall of 2009, a relatively new component of Atlantic General’s Auxiliary celebrated its second year of service to the hospital. The men and women in this group did not begin working in healthcare in 2009, however. They’ve been doing it their entire careers. Each one is a retired nurse.
Jackie Todd, the director of nursing, was instrumental in reaching out to retired nurses in the area to assist in volunteer roles that require knowledge of medicine. Originally, the members were to help with processing the paperwork involved in the patient admission process, a task that a lay volunteer would not be able to do.
Now twelve members strong, the retired nurses at Atlantic General assist eight departments throughout the facility, including case management, pastoral care, the Diabetes Outpatient Education program and the Wound Care Center.
“We want to help out in any way we can,” said Joyce Brittan, the coordinator of the retired nurse program. “We cannot do anything invasive, but our members can take blood pressures, help out with paperwork or even just talk to patients to make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need.”
“The varied talents and professional experience the retired nurses bring to the hospital are invaluable,” said Jackie Todd, director of nursing. “Interaction between this group and the younger nurses fosters a wonderful learning environment and further improves the patient experience.”