NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - With all the changes in health care, there's one aspect remaining fairly constant.
Hospital volunteers continue to play a vital role in assisting medical staff and patients. East Texas News found out about their significant contributions at today's Regional Texas Association of Healthcare Volunteers annual gathering.
Hospital volunteers representing 10 regional healthcare facilities didn't boast at their annual conference. They just state some pretty impressive facts.
For example, Nacogdoches volunteers worked a total of 7,254 hours in 2013. In addition to the memorial donations that are given, the gift shop at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital generated a record total of $307,000 in revenue, and they gave out 18 $1,000 scholarships.
Hospital auxiliaries region wide volunteered close to 141,000 hours.
Marjorie Terry's hours are put in before most people wake up.
"I go in at 5:30 in the morning because I work in the same day surgery," Terry said. "Sometimes when I get there I have patients."
More than ever, hospital staff rely on volunteers to keep the facility running. Demands on their time are stretched to the limit.
"They help out in the emergency room, in ICU, and PCU," said Jane Newland, a registered nurse at CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial in Lufkin.
"They depend on us to help them. Not do their work for them," said Don Newland, the president of the Texas Association of Healthcare Volunteers. "They all do their work and we just assist them."
Gift shops, jewelry sales, popcorn, and baked potato sales raise vital income. Region 4 volunteers raised more than $250,000. The money is used for scholarships, medical equipment, and special programs. Giving back to the community during a time of need is the main objective.