Pra Nang Klao Hospital: Humanized Health Care Volunteers

Pra Nang Klao Hospital, a general public hospital located in the urban area with 442 beds, serves the people of Nonthaburi province, the vicinity of Bangkok. Generally, with a busy clinic, doctors and nurses concentrate on providing care to patients, while there is limited staff to assist and guide patients and relatives though the service process and lessen their worries. However, if you go to Pra Nang Klao Hospital, you will see a number of volunteers, mainly aged people, talking to patients, assisting patients to fill out the forms, praying with patients, meditating with patients, as well as playing music for patients and relatives.

This kind of volunteer, called humanized health care volunteers, are mainly aged people retired from many walks of life. Pra Nang Klao has been known as the hospital mobilizing people involvement in rendering services in the form of volunteers, another kind of health workforce.

“Uncle Pon is a barber who once was sick and was cared by the staff in this hospital. Realizing how busy the hospital is, he volunteers to work here once a week as a barber for patients and chatting with patients”. This is one example.

There are approximately 80 volunteers, ranging from middle age to 70 years old, assisting in all sections of the hospital: registration, public relations, social work, ante-natal care, ethics, Thai massage, first-aid, etc. They will do work that can be delivered to untrained people so that it can free some of the health personnel’s time.