Updated Visitor Policy

Volunteers - Forrest Health
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    Individuals who volunteer at Forrest General Hospital are caring, dedicated and committed. Through their many meaningful activities, our volunteers help further the objectives of the hospital and provide the best possible support and comfort for our patients, their families, and visitors. While helping others, you will make many new friends, learn new things, and have fun.


    At Forrest General Hospital, volunteers are central to our mission “do what is best for the patient”. Every volunteer has a unique voice, perspective, and gift to share. People volunteer for a variety of reasons. You may be looking for a way to give back or pay it forward. You may want to have your first experience in a health care setting or begin a new chapter of your life here. Or you may aspire to realize a long-held dream or nurture a passion. Regardless of where you come from, we welcome you.


    Be at least 18 years of age

    Most of our volunteer programs require a minimum commitment of 2-3 hours a week

    Complete an application to Volunteer Services

    See Application Below

    Interview and upon acceptance, obtain TB screening and criminal background check (provided by FGH)

    Complete all required compliance paperwork

    Follow hospital and volunteer services policies and procedures


    Complimentary meal vouchers for any day of service for three or more hours

    Free yearly flu vaccination

    Invitations to the hospital’s special events

    Annual volunteer service awards banquet

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • Cancer Center Liaison

    Cancer Center volunteers assist patients in wheelchairs, visit with patients and families and listen to patients' needs and forward any helpful information to the cancer center staff. Other duties are to fold gowns, make coffee, file charts and straighten and organize the reading materials in the lobby.

    • Cancer Center Music Program

    The purpose is to create a restful and pleasant atmosphere. Based on the reaction of the listeners, musicians attempt to adjust the style of their music based on the situation. Musicians provide a warm and caring presence and it has been shown to lessen stress and anxiety, and music tends to soften the environment and provide a distraction from the listener's immediate concerns.

    Special Note: Volunteer musicians must be at an advanced skill level and be able to play their instrument with sensitivity while, at the same time, paying close attention to patients and staff responses. Preferred instruments: piano, guitar, harp, (with special awareness regarding lyric content).


    • Greeters – Surgery Waiting Area Information Desk

    Greeters are assigned to an Information Desk and assist our patient family members, visitors, and friends with directions to all locations within the hospital. They will personally escort our guests to the correct department/location. This is a great opportunity for someone comfortable with starting up conversations and has a high level of energy. Must be able to stand for long periods of time and walk extended distances throughout organization.


    • Hostess - Surgery Waiting Area Information Desk

    The information desk volunteers complement and enhance the patient experience by providing guest services to families and visitors. This highly visible position greets and provides general information to families and visitors in order to help them navigate throughout the organization. Must possess excellent telephone and oral communication skills. Must be willing to learn and use patient navigator software. Excellent position for someone who is high energy and enjoys being around and serving others.


    • NICU Cuddler

    Cuddlers are assigned to the NICU to hold and interact with identified infants.  These infants are in the intermediate nursery and are over 30 weeks of age possible experiencing long term hospitalization, lack of family present, irritability or requiring extra holding and interaction.  All tasks are completed under the permission of NICU nurse, NP or MD.

    Qualifications-Must meet 1: Is currently a licensed nurse, has been a licensed nurse in the past and left nursing in good standing, is currently or in the past has been approved by state or private agency to be a foster or adoptive parent for infant age child.


    • Non-Patient Services – Departmental Assistance

    For those who would like to volunteer in non-patient areas, there are many administrative/business departments who need help with a variety of tasks including copying, filing, answering phones, project assembly, mail outs, data entry, running errands, etc.


    • Pet Therapy Services

    The handler and certified dog will go to designated departments and rooms to comfort patients, family members, visitors, and staff in need.

                Dogs must:

    1. Be 1 year of age or older
    2. Be certified by an accredited service animal and/or pet assistance agency. Certification must be current.
    3. Meet initial and continuing health screen requirements for all vaccinations and general health requirements.

                Handlers Must:

    1. Be 18 years of age or older and complete the established FGH volunteer process.
    2. Provide certification from their veterinarian of all medical requirements for their participating therapy dog.
    3. Provide proof of current therapy dog certification from any accredited service animal and pet assistance agency.


    • Volunteer Chaplain, Pastoral Care Services

    Volunteer chaplains serve under the direction of Pastoral Care and provide non-sectarian, multi-denominational spiritual support to all patients and their family members as needed. Volunteers may be called upon to provide visits to patients and family members who may be struggling with spiritual/transcendence issues, pre and post-surgery visits and support, bereavement support, and pastoral care of patients and families who may not have affiliations with local faith community groups and/or churches.

    Community Volunteer Opportunities 

    Forrest General Hospital appreciates the thoughtful interest of those making donations for our patients. Please follow these guidelines and procedures when purchasing and/or referring persons for donations. We gladly accept donations throughout the year.


    Books/Magazines – Gently used for all ages

    We ask magazines not to be older than 6 months from the publication date and should have the address labels removed or blacked out prior to donation. We accept hard and softcover books, both children’s and adults, fiction and non-fiction.


    Activity Supplies – all items should be non-toxic

    Below are a few ideas, but we welcome your suggestions.

    Coloring books, crayons, or colored pencils

    Puzzles, playing cards, plastic blocks

    Small journals, crossword and word search books

    Small toys, stress balls, activity books, painting supplies


    Care Kits: Distributed to patients who are unable to obtain these supplies on their own. These kits are utilized by patients in all patient care areas for basic hygiene needs. Kits include travel-size essentials such as: toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, comb/brush, deodorant, mouthwash, and a Ziploc bag to hold items. Items may be donated in bulk or assembled into individual packages.


    Entertainment Kits: Provide distractions for those waiting on loved ones. These kits are distributed to patients and family members in the emergency services, outpatient registration, labor and delivery, and ICU/CCU waiting areas. Kits include: pencil, activity book, magazine or handheld game, and a Ziploc bag to hold items. Items may be donated in bulk or assembled into individual packages.


    Small Stuffed Animals - Due to infection control policies, we are only able to accept new stuffed animals.


    Position Pillows – Medium (approximately 12” x 12”) sized pillows are used to help adult and pediatric patients, prop, support, and position comfortably during their hospital stay.


    Port Pillows - A port pillow is a small pillow (approximately 3″ x 6″) with a hook-and-loop closure that a person attaches to a seatbelt (or even a purse or bag strap). This little pillow helps prevent irritation of the port and surrounding area when something is on top of it for long periods of time.


    Blankets – Crocheted, knitted, or quilted, blankets can be distributed to our patients. From our adult patients who find comfort in wrapping up in a lap blanket to our most vulnerable NICU population, these blankets are cherished.


    Walker/Wheelchair Bags – Patients who have a longer inpatient stay, find these bags very useful to hold items. Patients are able to keep personal items close to them while using their wheelchair or walker. Patients take these with them when discharged.


    Heart Hugs/Cardiac Pillows – Handy with a needle and thread? Volunteers who love to sew make heart shaped pillows for patients recovering from surgical procedures. Patients use these heart-shaped pillows after surgery to support the sternum when coughing.



    The hospital asks that donations come from smoke-free homes for infection control reasons.

    Many of our patients have restricted diets; therefore, food and candy cannot be distributed.

    We are unable to accept toys with violent themes.

    Due to infection prevention restrictions, donors may not personally deliver items.


    Search the web for patterns for any of the above items; there are many to choose from. To arrange a donation, contact Vicky Buxton @ vbuxton@forrestgeneral.com or call the Volunteer & Guest Services office at 601-288-4214.




    Employment Policy: It is the policy of Forrest Health to recruit and select candidates for employment without regard to race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity),
    religion, national origin, age, disability or other status protected by applicable federal or state statutes.

    A Board of Trustees appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is charged with the oversight of Forrest Health. The system is completely self supporting and does not operate on local taxes.
    Forrest Health facilities are approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in Medicare and Medicaid Programs.