Volunteer's dedication takes the pressure off hospital staff

Giving back: Experienced medial administrator Jill Horner revels the opportunity to volunteer her time at the South Coast District Hospital. Photo: Supplied.
Giving back: Experienced medial administrator Jill Horner revels the opportunity to volunteer her time at the South Coast District Hospital. Photo: Supplied.

Jill Horner spent 45 years diligently working in the medical community across a number of administration roles, including supporting former South Australian Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Paddy Phillips.

Her commitment to the industry has continued into her retirement, with Ms Horner now volunteering her time to staff at the South Coast District hospital.

Volunteering as an administrator since 2016, Ms Horner takes the pressure off busy admin staff and nurses, helping to ensure patients get the utmost care.

Ms Horner said she looked to volunteering as a way to get involved in the Victor Harbor community after moving to the south coast full-time, following her retirement in 2015.

"When I moved to Victor Harbor, I wanted to be involved in the community and I've definitely found my niche volunteering at the hospital," Ms Horner said.

"When you finish in the workforce, you still want to be useful and volunteering is a wonderful way of being active in your retirement.

"It gives you confidence, keeps you fit, gets you out there and talking to people and contributes to the community."

Having spent over 33 years of her career working in public hospitals, Ms Horner has been able to blend seamlessly into operations at the South Coast District Hospital, putting her experience and expertise to good use.

As part of her volunteer work, she works in day surgery, helping with administration and taking difficult jobs off the hands of busy staff.

"Day surgery involves a lot of detailed paperwork, which I help set up well before patients go into theater," Ms Horner said.

"I also work on case notes and archiving, really any general clerical work that is needed.

"It's something I really enjoy doing. I like feeling a part of the community and helping where I can.

"I find the work interesting and engaging and enjoy mixing with the hospital staff as well as the patients."

The hospital staff are particularly appreciative of volunteers who donate their time, helping to ease the load in a high-stress environment.

"Everyone at the hospital is so lovely, they make you feel so welcome are very appreciative of what you do," Ms Horner said.

"I always look forward to getting in there and find the work very satisfying.

"Staff have to deal with so much during their day in a high pressure environment, so easing their load can make a difference and make their day a bit brighter."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Horner has been stuck performing limited duties from home and has been raring to get back to work.

Speaking before her return to work on Wednesday, May 26, she said she couldn't wait to get back involved.

"The staff are very appreciative at all levels and make us volunteers feel welcome and important, it's very rewarding," Ms Horner said.

"I think volunteers are an essential part of the community and they do a lot of things behind the scenes. It's just great to be able to do my bit."