Original Friends of the Emergency Department volunteers, from left, Colleen Jamieson, Karyn Batt, Faith Fawcett, and Margaret Watson at the group's tenth birthday. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Emergency Department short of volunteers


St John is running short of volunteers for their Friends of the Emergency Department (FED) team at Nelson Hospital.

Operating with only a team of 16, St John’s Nelson Area Executive Officer Sarah McCabe says things can get pretty hectic in the Emergency Department and the group need another eight volunteers to cover regular and relief shifts.

FEDs are rostered on for 16 four-hour shifts at Nelson Hospital Emergency Department each week, including weekends.

The volunteers provide comfort, information and non-clinical support to patients and their families or friends, who are undergoing or awaiting treatment.

Sarah says sometimes just offering a hand to hold, providing a cup of tea or having a friendly conversation can make a big difference.

“Listening and talking to the patients and relatives is one of the most important parts of this role, as is maintaining patient and staff confidentiality.”

FED volunteers complete a selection process, including a police check and training prior to working in the Emergency Department.

People interested in this volunteer role are invited to attend an information evening on Tuesday, March 14 at 5 pm at the Stoke Baptist Church.

If you are interested please contact Sarah McCabe, St John Nelson at [email protected].