A group of volunteers who help in the vital teaching of medical, dental and healthcare professionals will be celebrated at a special event at Norwood Hall Hotel next month.
Among the 200 patient partners involved in the Patient Partner Programme, 15 will be awarded certificates and prizes on Thursday, July 11 celebrating 5, 10 and 15 years of service. One special recipient will be Jean Clarke from Aberdeen, who has volunteered for 20 years. She will receive a special recognition certificate for her dedication to the programme.
Patient Partners are members of the public who assist in practice and learning sessions by being available to speak to and be examined by students, helping them improve their skills in both areas. They travel from all over the city and Aberdeenshire to attend sessions, some from as far afield as Fochabers, Aboyne and Ballater.
Dr Sundari Joseph, Patient Partner Volunteer Administrator at the Institute of Education for Medical and Dental Sciences, said that the prize-giving will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all volunteers.
“Patient Partners are called ‘partners’ to recognise their important contribution to the courses they support. They are an asset to the education of tomorrow’s workforce and without them these professionals would not be as well prepared for their careers,” she said.
“We are currently looking to recruit new Patient Partners over the summer months to address the increased student numbers starting the medical course in September. No prior training or experience is necessary to be selected to join the programme, all we ask is that a Patient Partner be willing to help, reliable and most importantly have a good sense of humour!”
Patient Partner Jean Clarke signed up 20 years ago after reading a proposal to start the programme assisting medical students.
She said: “I enjoy being with the students and find it so worthwhile to have helped with developing the communication skills needed for their future work as doctors. Over the years, the Patient Partner programme has expanded greatly so one can choose different areas on which to concentrate, from physical examination to acting case scenarios.
“Also, meeting other volunteers has made it extremely enjoyable and many friendships have been made. It has been a really rewarding form of voluntary activity and I hope it will continue with new recruits joining to help with the expanding number of students.”
For more information on how to apply to be a volunteer, please contact the Patient Partner Programme office at The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (01224) 437887.