Friday , June 24 2022

People would be interested in non-medical volunteering in hospitals, but this is not possible at present


Since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 has been contracted by 804 healthcare system workers in Latvia. This makes it difficult to care for patients fully. In order to free doctors from responsibilities other than medical treatment, a proposal was made to activate the voluntary organization.

Seeing how much time doctors are forced to devote to daily non-medical technical activities, radiologist Maija Radziņa has launched a private initiative on Facebook, inviting people who would like to volunteer at the hospital to respond. Also at her workplace – Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is not about helping in the Covid-19 specialist unit, but in others, and it would mean an opportunity for doctors to spend more time on patients.

Read more: “According to all the indicators, the situation is getting worse.” Kariņš highlights that new restrictions on Covid-19 should be considered

“The area is big, lots of materials have to be taken out. Lunch has to be taken out. Patients have to be transported themselves. Not all of these people need medical education. Couriers carry papers , carrying things, carrying out analyzes, and that does not mean that there is direct contact with critically ill patients, ”said Maija Radziņa, radiologist at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital and lecturer at RSU.

Of the 20 applications currently being received, the majority are first-year medical students who started their studies in September and want first impressions of working in a hospital. They are given sanitary duties during the night hours. In turn, the personnel department at Stradiņš Hospital will contact others who have no professional connection with medicine, but who have shown an interest in helping. He stresses, however, that volunteering in its classic sense will not be possible at the time you come to yourself. You will have to work at least part time, one full time on call or 24 hours a week. And the hospital completes a contract of employment and pays. However, he will not practice unpaid voluntary work.

Also at Riga East Clinical University Hospital (RAKUS) – does not see the possibility of attracting volunteers as non-medical support staff. Wrap around time would be too risky. There is no guarantee of how epidemiologically safe these volunteers would behave outside hospitals.

“This is the moment when we avoid unnecessary visitors at the hospital at all. We avoid getting people on the sidelines. We don’t want to endanger staff or anyone else when someone comes in. ‘ The staff are worth its weight in gold, it must be kept, ”said Inese Budzila, RAKUS’s Director of Care.

At Riga East Clinical University Hospital, the only volunteers are drawn from the “Holy Family House” association, which reads books in front of patients in the palliative care department. However, even after this crisis, the hospital does not see the possibility of involving volunteers in a wider range of roles.

“How many volunteers are willing to dedicate time to it? If it’s an hour a day, then that will be the desired hour, as we will find out when the patient should be pushed. The biggest problem with the volunteers is that I will come when I can, but we need that help every day, ”said RAKUS Director of Care.

Meanwhile, the Latvian Hospital Association stresses that it is currently unclear how to legally register volunteer work in medical institutions.

“If something happens to that volunteer at the hospital, he loses his ability to work, there will be problems. He doesn’t have social insurance because he’s not paid for his work. He doesn’t have social security if He is doing something as a volunteer. Obvious questions about volunteers have not been resolved, “said Jevgēņijs Kalējs, Chairman of the Latvian Hospital Association.

It is emphasized that if people without medical education want to help, then there are currently several paid vacancies in university clinical hospitals.

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