Genesis Seeks Befriender Volunteers - Genesis Health System

Published on August 22, 2012

Genesis Seeks Befriender Volunteers

Do friends come to you with their problems, frustrations, fears and joys?  Do people tell you that you are a good listener? Perhaps you would like to utilize your talents as a volunteer Befriender at Genesis Medical Center.

Befrienders are a select community of caregivers who are trained to listen to patient stories and concerns. Hospitalization can be a scary time with a patient feeling alone, afraid and pondering changes in one’s health and life. A Befriender is there to compassionately listen and provide supportive, spiritual ministry without imposing their own religious beliefs on patients.

Befriender volunteers go through approximately 40 hours of training  emphasizing listening with particular sensitivity to the stories of grief, illness, crisis and life review. When the training is complete, the volunteers may visit patients and their families in the hospital, or work in the Grief Recovery Group.

The Genesis Spiritual Care department has been training Befrienders for 45 years. The program is an integral part of the Genesis vision of treating the whole person, including body, mind and spirit. Referrals for a Befriender visit often come from nurses, doctors and the patients themselves.

There are 31 dedicated Befrienders who serve each week in a care-giving ministry that touches patients in a personal and intimate way.

If you are interested in this type of service, please call the Spiritual Care office and speak with Chaplain Jeanne Olsen. An application, interview and letter of recommendation are part of the admission process. For more information, please call (563) 421-1756.

An informational meeting to further explain the program will be held Thursday, August 30th, 3-4 p.m. at Genesis Medical Center, West Campus, 1401 W. Central Park  Davenport. The meeting will be held in the Sunderbruch Room. (Enter on Lombard St. and ask for directions at the information desk).

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