Volunteer in Nanaimo

The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) and Dufferin Place are health care facilities operated by Island Health. NRGH is the largest hospital in the area and is a regional referral centre for much of the central Island Health region. Dufferin Place is a 150-bed residential care Facility and most of its residents are seniors.

For more information and general inquiries, visit the Facility pages: Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Dufferin Place and the Nanaimo Health Unit.

About Volunteering

The Volunteer Resources department for Island Health's Nanaimo area is located at NRGH. The Manager, Volunteer Resources is responsible for maintaining, in cooperation with the staff of our many other departments, an effective volunteer program for NRGH and Dufferin Place as well as the Nanaimo Public Health Unit.

The primary functions of the Volunteer Resources department are the recruitment, screening and orientation of new volunteers, providing support to staff in training, evaluating and recognizing the services of our volunteers, and providing support to our Hospital Auxiliary.

For more information about our Auxiliary, please go to: http://www.nrghauxiliary.ca/

Although Auxiliary membership is a requirement for some services at NRGH, all volunteers are encouraged to consider Auxiliary membership.

More information is available at: How to Become a Volunteer and Frequently Asked Questions.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Island Health has many opportunities for volunteers to contribute to quality care. We hope that you will find what you are looking for listed below. If not, our Manager of Volunteer Resources would be happy to hear your ideas. Please contact us for further information.

The Auxiliary Gift Shop

Located in the main lobby of the hospital, the Gift Shop provides giftware, sundries, cards, toiletries, candies and snacks, magazines, flower arrangements and handmade baby items and crafts for sale to patients, visitors and staff.  There are also opportunities for volunteers to provide service as buyers, stockroom assistance, and leadership roles.

Auxiliary Thrift Store

Located in the Northridge Mall in North Nanaimo, the Auxiliary Thrift Store raises money for patient care and comfort through the sale of gently used clothing and household goods.  There are opportunities for cashiers, sorters and pricers, display volunteers and leadership roles.

Auxiliary Craft Workparties and Other Fundraising Projects

The Hospital Auxiliary also raises funds for patient care and comfort through it’s Craft Work Group, and through other fund raising committees.  New fund raising ideas and committee members are always needed.

Activities and Entertainers

Volunteers in Dufferin Place, and in some areas of NRGH where patients may be staying with us for longer periods of time, participate with clients in recreational activities such as crafts, entertainment, birthday parties, special events, etc.

Ambulatory Care Host/Hostess and Discharge Lounge

Volunteers offer wayfinding services to patients and visitors coming to the hospital through the Ambulatory Care Entrance as well as other services which may assist the staff in the Ambulatory Care building.  These volunteers also provide a ‘Discharge Lounge’ service where patients who have been discharged may be escorted to the lounge area by volunteers who then provide companionship while the discharged patient is waiting for transportation.  Volunteers from this service may also provide companionship in other areas of the hospital for Dufferin Place residents coming to the hospital for a variety of procedures and do not have a family member to accompany them.

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Friendly Visitors

Volunteers provide companionship for patients and residents both in NRGH and at Dufferin Place.

Hospital Historical Display Volunteers

Volunteers manage the collection of historical artifacts for the display in the hospital’s main lobby.

Information Desk Volunteers and Hospitality Volunteers

Working as a team, Information Desk and Hospitality Volunteers provide a caring welcome to the hospital, help visitors find their way around the hospital, deliver flowers and mail to patients, handle the Lost and Found requests and provide a variety of other patient comfort services.

Junior Volunteer Advisors

Adult volunteers act as Advisors within the Junior Volunteer program to assist with training and provide support and supervision to our teen volunteers. (Auxiliary membership is a requirement)

Junior Volunteers

Our teen volunteer program provides an opportunity for students in Grades 8-12 to help others in their community and while doing so, gain valuable work and life experience through their interaction with patients/residents and hospital staff.

Library Cart Service

Patients choose paperback books and magazines free of charge from the mobile library cart which visits most in-patient units around the hospital.  Donating magazines is another way that the community can help.

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Lost and Found

Volunteers manage the collection, storage, retrieval and disposal of items turned in to our Lost and Found Service.

Leadership Volunteers

Volunteers in leadership roles provide training and support for other volunteers.

Out-patient Clinic Hostesses/Hosts

Patients in outpatient clinic areas such as Surgical Day Care, Emergency, Medical Daycare, Pain Clinic, Cancer Clinic, and Medical Imaging, benefit from the friendly attention of volunteers who provide a warm welcome and companionship. Volunteers in these clinics also assist staff with a variety of other services, allowing staff to focus their time on quality patient care.

Nanaimo Public Health Unit

Volunteers provide assistance with Child Health Clinic and a variety of other seasonal clinics (Flu and School Immunization Clinics) both at the Health Unit and at other locations in the community

Paediatrics/Nursery Volunteer Visitors

Volunteers assist with services such as visiting children in the absence of family and friends, cleaning toys, preparing craft packages, supervising siblings while parents visit the clinic with another child etc.   

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Special Projects Volunteers

Volunteers provide other occasional services such as assistance with hospital special events and projects.

Volunteer Resources Office Support

Volunteers provide assistance with data entry and other tasks in the Volunteer Resources Office.

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Our Partners in Volunteer Service

Foundation/Lifeline Volunteers

Our hospital Foundation operates the Code Brew Coffee Kiosk in the main lobby at NRGH and some volunteers provide service here.  Foundation Volunteers also provide service through the Lifeline Emergency Response service for people who are living in their own homes but are at some risk due to health concerns. Volunteers may visit clients at home to install equipment, make friendly follow up phone calls help with tasks in the office. If you are interested in volunteering with this service, please contact the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation’s Coordinator of Volunteer Services and E-strategy at 250-740-2624 or visit their website: www.nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/lifeline

Palliative Care/Hospice Society Volunteers

Specially trained volunteers provide comfort and companionship to patients and their families in the hospital’s Palliative Care Unit. If you are interested in volunteering with this service, please contact the Nanaimo Hospice Society Coordinator of Volunteer Resources at 250-758-8857.

Spiritual Health Volunteers, Community Clergy and Denominational Visitors

Volunteers from various faith groups help provide spiritual care to patients and families. If you are interested in volunteering with this service, please contact the Hospital Spiritual Health Practitioner (Chaplain) at 250-755-7691 Local 54022.

Pet Therapy Program Visitors

Specially trained volunteers and their furry friends provide comfort and companionship to patients and residents at selected units at NRGH and at Dufferin Place.  These volunteers come to us from approved Pet Therapy Programs (e.g.  St. Johns Dog Therapy and PATS)

Recycling Volunteers

Volunteers are involved in the collection and sorting of many recyclable products at NRGH. Many of our volunteers for this service come to us through a successful partnership with a supported work organization in the community.

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Lynne Tourond
Manager, Volunteer Resources
Email Lynne.Tourond@viha.ca
Phone (250) 755-7637

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
1200 Dufferin Cres.
Nanaimo, BC
V9S 2B7

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