Hollywood Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Volunteers bring joy to patients

Apr 19, 2017

Hollywood Private Hospital’s (Hollywood) volunteers offer a wide variety of services which help to ensure patients, their families and visitors have a positive hospital experience.

There is evidence to support animals having a therapeutic effect and aiding an individual’s emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual wellbeing. This is facilitated at Hollywood by volunteer dog handlers and their dogs who spend time with patients, especially those staying with the hospital for longer periods of time.

Director of Clinical Services, Karen Gullick, said "These visits are very special to patients and bring a sense of joy and comfort during what can often be physically and mentally challenging times."

The four volunteer dogs are Stella, a miniature poodle, and Jade, Robbie and Billie, border collies. They visit a variety of the hospital’s wards and units, including rehabilitation, general medicine and palliative care.

In addition to informal patient visits, the dogs have recently started to participate in the rehabilitation ward’s weekly group program which is run by the Occupational Therapy team.

Acting Occupational Therapy Manager, Sarah Peisse, added "The dogs help to further encourage patient engagement in therapeutic activity. We are indebted to our volunteers for their assistance in supporting our comprehensive rehabilitation service."

Hollywood’s volunteers also offer a variety of other services aimed at enhancing the patient experience such as complimentary massages to patients, including those undergoing chemotherapy treatment. These massages often help patients to relax and can assist with the management of pain, fatigue and anxiety.

In addition, volunteers manage the complimentary buggy service, driving patients and their visitors around the hospital’s grounds so they can easily access medical and parking facilities. They also help visitors to find their way around the hospital, and provide a lolly trolley and book service.

If you would like to volunteer at Hollywood, please contact Helen Morrell, Volunteer Services Manager, on MorrellH@ramsayhealth.com.au or 9346 6275.