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Published on August 13, 2018

This helped her bond with her granddaughter

This helped her bond with her granddaughter

Grandmother and granddaughter Maureen Makkay and Katie Davis found a unique way to bond this summer. The duo joined forces as volunteers at Cape Cod Hospital, helping patients and enhancing their own relationship in the process.

“I love spending time together,” Davis said.

Every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Makkay and Davis meet in the Cape Cod Hospital cafeteria to have lunch together. For Davis, who lives in Marstons Mills, volunteering is not only a fun way to spend some time with her grandmother, it’s also a chance to explore careers.

“I’ve always been interested in healthcare, but I didn’t know to what degree,” she said. “In high school I thought I’d become a doctor. It really was eye-opening to see the environment of the hospital itself because now I’m going to be applying into the public health school at college. I’m not necessarily just thinking about becoming a doctor, because now I’ve seen how many different departments there are and how much more there is to the hospital.”

Hospital volunteers offer vital services to both patients and healthcare organizations. Cape Cod Hospital has over 350 volunteers, including 50 student volunteers who are currently participating in their Summer Student Volunteer Program, according to Patricia Boris, program manager of volunteer services.

A Way to Give Back

Makkay, who lives in Centerville, has been volunteering twice a week at Cape Cod Hospital for close to 14 years. She and her husband used to own several local radio stations and, after they sold the family business, she felt a void in her life.

“I found myself needing something to do because I never thought of retiring,” she said. “That wasn’t in my vocabulary and so I came over here and signed up to volunteer. At the time I was told there was an opening at the front desk and there was an opening in transport. I said I’ll try both and I liked both, so I kept doing both.”

Her granddaughter finished her freshman year at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor this past spring and decided to join her grandmother as a volunteer. Each shift is four hours, but she works two back-to-back, four-hour shifts, due to the fact she is a gate attendant for the town of Barnstable beaches the other six days of the week.

Davis volunteers in patient transport, which means she transports patients by wheelchair or stretcher to various locations around the hospital. Some examples of her duties include assisting with in-patient discharges by picking patients up with wheelchairs and taking them to the front door exit.

She also takes patients for screening tests like X-rays, CAT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs. Sometimes she transports patients for surgery and even helps visitors who may need wheelchair assistance visiting hospitalized loved ones.

“In patient transport, you are not with one specific department every day,” Davis said. “You are going all over the hospital so you really see all of the different parts of it.”

Want To Volunteer?

Cape Cod Hospital is currently in need of volunteers in patient transport, said Boris.

“Interested applicants would be year-round residents who are available weekdays, interested in a volunteer position that involves lots of patient and staff interaction,” she said. “They have to be capable of walking significant distances in order to assist staff with transporting patients within the hospital via wheelchair or stretcher.”

The time commitment is one, four-hour shift per week, and all shifts are on weekdays during the day. Volunteers are assigned to various departments at Cape Cod Hospital or Falmouth Hospital, as well as several other Cape Cod Healthcare-affiliated sites including Fontaine Outpatient Center, CCHC Lab Services, Cuda Women’s Health Center, Cape Cod Hospital Pain Center and CCHC Foundation. All volunteers are assigned based upon hospital and department need, Boris said.

Anyone interested in volunteering should go to capecodhealth.org and complete the “Request a Volunteer Application” form and submit it through the website. Volunteers have to go through health and safety clearances as well as attend a day-long orientation class before beginning their volunteer duties.

“It’s always interesting and it can be a lot of fun,” Makkay said.