Program Details for Health Care Centers
Make your hospital a warmer place to be. The Adventures in Caring Raggedy Program strengthens a hospital's culture of compassionate, personalized care. This helps achieve a higher level of patient satisfaction by helping patients feel better about their treatment and the hospital; providing encouragement and hope; and reducing disturbances caused by patients who are upset.
Once a week each Raggedy volunteer spends about two hours in the hospital. In that time they visit fifteen to twenty patients and family members. In their volunteer roles, Raggedys build goodwill and improve communication between the nursing staff and their patients. They also respond to special requests for a visit from the patient’s physician, nurse, friends or family.
After careful screening each Raggedy Ann & Andy volunteer is trained in the Adventures in Caring 4As Communication Model: a special method of interacting with people who are critically or chronically ill. In addition to developing strong communication skills, the 22-hour training prepares volunteers to interact with staff, work effectively in a hospital environment, understand the psychological needs of patients, and deal with especially difficult patients.
There is no interference with nursing operations. The Raggedy volunteers do not replace medical staff, nor do they give advice to patients. Instead, the Raggedys build goodwill between the staff and their patients. They help patients to develop a positive attitude toward their treatment.
Other benefits to health care organizations:
- Nurses can reliably delegate the responsibility of giving patients the extra attention they need, when a nurse may not have the time to spend listening.
- Raggedy Patient Care is one of the rare programs that provides a stimulating activity for patients regardless of their condition. The increased physical contact and personal attention stimulates new responses.
- Families feel more at ease knowing that someone else will be a friend to their loved one — someone who can be there on a regular basis, especially if the family cannot visit.
The Raggedy Program is carefully controlled, for the following reasons:
Medical: Visiting people who are seriously ill is a delicate matter. Great care must be taken to ensure that each Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy volunteer has the skills, information, and good judgment to interact in ways that would never jeopardize a patient’s fragile health.
Raggedy Ann & Andy volunteers are capable of visiting patients on almost every hospital unit, such as: Oncology, Cardiac Care, Pediatrics, Maternity, Neonatal, Dialysis, Orthopedic, Neurology, Medical-Surgical, even Intensive Care and the Emergency Room. The exceptions are that they do not visit: Psychiatric, Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation, or Mental Health Care units.
Financial: Adventures in Caring Foundation is a nonprofit, human service organization. It receives no government funding. The Raggedy Patient Care Program is funded entirely by private donations and grants from the community, and by contributions from the hospitals it serves. Even though the Program is delivered by volunteers, the Foundation’s staff commit substantial time, effort and resources to start-up and oversee the program at each hospital.
Legal: Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy are trademarked characters (unlike clowns and teddy bears which belong to the public domain.) Their names and likeness cannot be used without permission of the owners.
Individual: Not everyone can do this type of volunteer work. Age, race, gender or religion are not barriers. But it does take someone with extraordinary communication skills, commitment, and compassion - combined with thorough training - to become a successful Raggedy Ann or Raggedy Andy volunteer. Although each hospital will recruit its own volunteers, the Foundation reserves the right to determine whether these candidates are suitable for the Program.
Comments from Physicians
“By observing (Raggedy Ann) while visiting with desperately ill patients at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, it became abundantly clear to me that she has a thorough understanding of the special needs of critically ill patients. Through her listening skills, compassion, sensitivity and understanding of how sick people actually feel, Raggedy Ann perpetuates the flame of hope that is the necessary part of the healing process.”
Michael B. Fisher, M.D. Nephrology
“I ordered them (Raggedy Ann & Andy) for several of my patients
this past year and they have raved about the program. I think it is a
program that every hospital in the United States would be the better for.”
Walter M. Lewis, M.D., F.A.C.P.
“I continue to be impressed by the service that the Adventures in Caring
Foundation provides to the patients requiring hospitalization and surgery or
intensive medical care. At a time when technology seems to be the most
visible aspect of medical care, your personal attention to the emotional needs
of patients should not go unrecognized.”
Joseph R. DiBartolomeo, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Ear Diseases and Related Disorders
“Raggedy Ann & Andy are fulfilling one precious, irreplaceable slice
of this need (for tender loving care) in a well thought out, discrete, highly
sensitive manner. The Raggedys provide an opportunity for some patients
that no other person or program can fulfill. The Raggedys also imbue the
professional staffs with some of the much needed love and satisfaction they
need along the way.”
John M. Ackerman, M.D., Psychiatry
“The response (from surgical residents) is universally positive. You
have wisely conducted this program in a very intelligent, discreet and unobtrusive
fashion that provides a personal touch for the patients when it is sometimes
overlooked in the hurly-burly busy day activities on the part of the hospital
George A. Higgins, M.D.
Director of Surgical Education
“I do love what you are doing and will pass the word. I am trying
to teach hospitals how to be places of healing and you go on my list of things
to do for the patients and staff.”
Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
author of Love, Medicine & Miracles