Pender Memorial Hospital welcomed seven students from Harrells Christian Academy this week to spend three days volunteering with patients in the skilled nursing unit.
The volunteers were part of a school mission trip program called “C-Mester” where students volunteer locally, within the state or abroad. This is the fourth year of the program and the first time students volunteered at Pender Memorial Hospital. The skilled nursing unit provides care to patients who need help with daily activities due to illness, physical impairment or rehabilitation after a hospitalization.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for our young community members to experience what we do here every day to care for our patients and their families,” said Ruth Glaser, president of Pender Memorial Hospital. “Their youthful exuberance and willingness to engage with our patients was a joy, and I hope their time here will foster a furthered interest in healthcare and community volunteerism.”
Students were matched up with a skilled care patient they met with daily. Each student led prayers, sang songs and entertained patients with presentations. They also created scrapbooks for each patient and presented them at a luncheon on the closing day. The students, many of whom were interested in pursuing healthcare careers, also received a tour of Pender Memorial Hospital and worked closely with the skilled nursing staff.
“In the three short days that the students were here, they formed beautiful relationships with our residents. It warmed our hearts to see them sitting at the table together, two generations connecting over common memories of family pets, hobbies, simple pleasures,” said Rebecca Flores, RN, director of Pender Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing. “These students made an investment of time and energy and received, in return, the sharing of wisdom, laughter, and joy from an older generation.”