Easing the stress and fear during waiting at local hospitals

Waiting in the Emergency Room can be stressful, but a new volunteer role at Adventist Medical Centers in Reedley, Selma and Hanford aims to ease that stress, anxiety and fear.

In March, the network’s Volunteer Resources Department launched its Emergency Department Ambassador program at Adventist Medical Center – Reedley. One of the three volunteers is 22-year-old Iesha Tristan, a Reedley College student from Orange Cove.

“We wanted to bring the volunteer ED Ambassador program to our hospitals to keep families and patients informed about what’s going on behind the scenes,” says Andrea Kofl, senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “Our patients’ time is important to us, so the ED Ambassador is there to give updates and make people feel more comfortable.”

After the program was launched in Reedley, it was implemented at Adventist Medical Centers in Selma and then Hanford. Selma currently has two ED Ambassadors, and Hanford will have 12. The ambassadors are there to offer not only a smile and kind words to patients and their families, but support to the nurses and staff.

Tristan recalls a day when it was extremely busy in the ED. The nurses were going back and forth and she had just finished restocking items. “When it slowed down, the nurses thanked me for having everything ready for them,” says Tristan. “It made me feel good knowing they didn’t have to go far from the patients’ rooms to get what they needed.”

“It’s been terrific having an extra set of hands,” says Dr. Douglas Kerr. “Iesha comes ready to work and is always willing to help.”          

“The best part is being told I’m making a difference,” Tristan says. “It makes me feel good.”