When Guelph General Hospital volunteer, Ruth Thatcher, joined GGH as a volunteer in 1948, little did she know her association with the Hospital would span much of her life. As a part of celebrating “Volunteer Week” Ruth is sharing her story.
|Ruth (far right) was in charge of the candy stripers' uniforms (among other duties) when she was pictured in a Guelph Mercury article in June 3, 1976. Click on the photo to see the entire article.|
“My first experience was as a Junior Volunteer during my High School days. At that time the Hospital was on the site where 73 Delhi is today. The School of Nursing was next door where the Children's Aid use to be and the building behind was the Isolation Hospital,” explains Ruth. “I went back to Volunteering at the hospital in 1968 and have been volunteering ever since.”
She remembers her first duty coming back as a volunteer was taking the Library Cart around to patients every Tuesday afternoon. “It was a wonderful service because the patient stayed in the Hospital a lot longer than they do today.”
Over the years Ruth has held different roles and responsibilities. Some have had lasting impact. She served on the Foundation board for 11 years and was active in fundraising for the CT and MRI.
“I was Convener of the Candy Stripers for a few years in the 70s. I always had a great group of teenagers to train who looked professional in their pink and white aprons and caps. Two of the girls went on to medical school and to this day I still hear about them from their parents.”
|Ruth still has a regular shift in the Courtyard Boutique on Thursday afternoons.|
Over the years, Ruth, along with her fellow volunteers, has put on art shows, fashion shows and luncheon bridge parties to raise money for the Hospital. It’s been a lifetime of supporting the Hospital and the service it provides to the community. Her five-decade contribution is much appreciated.
“On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Ruth for this incredible milestone,” said Rod Carrol, VP Human Resources and Support Services. “Her dedication over the years is remarkable. She, along with all our volunteers, are truly helping us live our mission of “providing the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families.””
There are many more stories Ruth can share about her years at the Hospital. Anyone can ask to hear them by dropping by the Hospital’s Courtyard Boutique on Thursday afternoons where she still has her weekly shift.
“It was an honour to receive my Life Membership in 1987 and Volunteer of the Year Award in 2014. With good health I will continue to volunteer at the Guelph General Hospital as long as I can.”
|Lesley Lindsay, RN, says she really appreciates the new vital signs monitors.|
Every shift, nurses measure their patients’ vital signs multiple times using a specialized vital signs monitor. Blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and heart-rate – all important measures which tell the team how a patient is doing. The results can affect medication and treatment decisions.
In the last few months, a donor-funded system which connects the vital signs monitors directly to patient charts went live. Now, vital signs are automatically uploaded to the patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) as soon as they are taken.
The old way of recording vital signs was to hand-write recorded vital signs on a piece of paper that would remain in the nurse’s pocket until they had time to chart them. Not surprisingly, nurses and physicians are loving this new system for the efficiency and ease that it brings to their ability to deliver care to their patients. Lesley Lindsay, RN, says, “the connectivity software equips nurses with the resources and technology needed to improve the quality of patient care and experience.”
Physicians appreciate they no longer have to track down nurses for vitals since they are now available in real-time in the patient’s chart, moments after they are taken. In fact, the information is available immediately to all of a patient’s healthcare team.
Nurses enjoy using the new system for the time it saves them…time they can spend at the bedside.
“I feel I can be more present for my patients without worrying about the small stack of vitals in my pocket that I need to chart,” Lesley added.
This system also contributes to patient safety because the risk of error due to the transfer of information from the vital signs monitors to hand written notes to charts is eliminated.
Necessary upgrades to equipment such as the vital signs connectivity system are made possible through the generosity of our caring donors.
Attention GGH history buffs!
Recently, an issue published in 1975 to celebrate the Hospital's 100th anniversary was discovered. In it are articles linking the past to what was then, the present. For those interested in the recent and distant history of the Hospital, it makes for some interesting reading.
Starting with this issue of General Express, scanned articles will be reproduced. A good place to start is with the timeline included in the publication. It lists significant events such as the original purchase of four acres of land on Delhi Street in 1873 followed two years later with the opening of the Hospital.
Click on the image to the right to expand it for easier reading.
Next issue, learn how up until the 1940s, any employee who was off sick had his or her name sent to the Chair of the Board for a decision on whether or not to issue sick pay.
An early timeline of the history of Guelph General Hospital
Fifth annual Tour de Guelph may be the biggest one so far
In its first four years, Tour de Guelph has raised over $200,000 for Guelph General Hospital and for local and international Rotary projects through the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium.
Tour de Guelph is a community bicycling event for all ages and abilities. This year choose from six routes and seven distances: a 5k/10k loop through The Village by the Arboretum, the 25k Bremner Memorial Route, 50k, 75k, 100k and even a160k route for seasoned cyclists - there is a distance for everyone!
Register and start fundraising today! Tour de Guelph supports Guelph General Hospital and local Rotary projects. Your participation will make a positive impact in our community.
Despite an unexpected, near-disaster, this year's Black Tie Bingo breaks record
The 22nd Annual Black Tie Bingo (BTB) set another fundraising record, raising $266,000 for Guelph General Hospital.
Just ten weeks out from the date of the event, Foundation staff learned a flood at the Village by the Arboretum meant they needed to find a new location for Black Tie Bingo. They sprang into action to find a new venue– Stone Road Mall in the former Sears space. In the weeks following, they were met with a generous outpour of support from many people and organizations to ensure the event’s success.
“After this year, we have an ever deeper appreciation and understanding of the commitment and generosity of our Black Tie Bingo Committee members, our sponsors, volunteers and guests who return year after year to support this event” said Suzanne Bone, the Foundation’s CEO.
At the event, Kevin Malinski of Platters Catering & Events, Palmer Audio and Stone Road Mall and Primaris Management Inc. were honoured as ‘Black Tie Bingo Heroes’ for their contributions.