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Hill Country Memorial Volunteer Services

1020 South Highway 16, P.O. Box 835

Fredericksburg, TX 78624


Updated January 2016

Hill Country Memorial Volunteer Handbook


Vision, Mission and Value Statements
HCM Hospital and Volunteer History
HCM Operating Elements


Volunteer Services Orientation

Standards of Behavior
Benefits and Recognition for Volunteers
Service Holidays
Some Common Hospital Abbreviations and Meanings



Criminal Background Check

Drug and Alcohol Use

Equal Opportunity


Hazardous Materials Handling

Infection Control

Medical Staff Relationship

On-site Weapons

Sexual and Racial Harassment

Tuberculosis Testing

Flu Shots

Transporting Wheelchair Patients

Workplace Violence

Emergency Operations Plan

Disaster Preparedness

Security at HCM Facilities




Hill Country Memorial Vision

Empower Others, Create Healthy.

Hill Country Memorial Mission

Remarkable Always.

Hill Country Memorial Values

Others First – commit to remarkable care with each life we touch

Compassion – care for others with a kind heart

Innovation – integrate new ideas with courage

Accountability – responsibility for our actions

Stewardship – uphold our responsibility for lives and resources

A Brief History of Hill Country Memorial Hospital, the HCM Auxiliary and Volunteer Services

Hill Country Memorial Hospital (HCM) is a not-for-profit organization noted for excellence in 24-hour emergency care, medical/surgical services, diagnostic capabilities, obstetrics and rehabilitation. All these services were established without support from local, state or federal taxes.

HCM is a tribute to the generosity and community spirit of the people of Gillespie and surrounding counties. The hospital opened on February 22, 1971 after four years of planning, organizing and construction. In fact, the Hill Country Memorial Hospital Auxiliary was established four years before the completion of the hospital and raised $6,000 to fund advertisements for the construction of the new hospital. Citizens of the Fredericksburg area contributed the funds to build the hospital. The hospital remains the community’s largest volunteer effort.

Located on a 14-acre site and serving eight counties, Hill Country Memorial has seen much growth from the original 49-bed hospital building. In 1999, a 42,000-square-foot professional building, named Perry-Feller for the founding physicians, opened with 20 medical and dental offices and a retail pharmacy. This building is connected to the hospital via an enclosed all-weather walkway.

In 2012, the three volunteer organizations that supported Hill Country Memorial – Hospice Volunteers, Thrift Shop Volunteers and Hospital Auxiliary – joined under one name as the Hill Country Memorial (HCM) Volunteers.

Throughout the years, the Volunteers have been a mainstay within the hospital organization, supporting it with time and monetary gifts. Fundraising is done through various Volunteer-sponsored sales and proceeds from the hospital gift shop, Whimsies. Volunteers work in 20 different departments within the hospital system.

The hospital celebrated 45 years in 2016 as it, with the Volunteers, continues to provide remarkable service to our community.

Hill Country Memorial Operating Elements

Fredericksburg HCM Facilities

Hill Country Memorial Hospital – HCM is dedicated to providing and fulfilling access to the preventative, restorative and palliative health care needs of the eight counties it serves. Personalized, high-quality and cost-effective health care is delivered with compassion, dignity and respect throughout all phases of life.

Home Care Services – Skilled professionals provide quality health care where the patients are most comfortable – in their own homes.

Hospice – Hospice patients receive special end-of-life care in the comfort of familiar surroundings in their homes or in a nursing home.

Hospital Foundation – The Foundation’s purpose is to build relationships between the hospital and the individuals and communities it serves to ensure the financial future of health care in the Texas Hill Country.

Medical Office Buildings – These two on-campus facilities are the Perry-Feller Professional Building and the Eckert-Smith Office Building, each of which provides offices for physicians and other medical specialties.

Rehab Clinic – The fully licensed staff of trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, exercise physiologists and cardiac rehab nurses emphasize a personal and hands-on approach with individualized attention.

Wellness Center – This state-of-the-art facility provides a range of health education as well as land and aquatic fitness programs.

Go Clinic – This convenient clinic offers services such as minor emergency care, radiology and bloodwork.

Regional HCM Clinical Facilities

Boerne and Marble Falls Specialty Clinics and the HCM Kerrville Clinic – These regional clinics provide access to a selection of medical specialties and services for local patients.

WIC Program Clinics in Blanco, Boerne, Gillespie, Kendall and Kerr Counties – HCM administers this federal/regional special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) to safeguard the health of low-income women and children up to age 5.

AIDET® – In the Medical Practice: More Important than Ever

Studer Group’s Five Fundamentals of Communication is AIDET, an acronym that stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You. Those who utilize AIDET consistently find it to be a tremendously valuable tool for organizing patient communication and providing patients with information and caring relationship that they want and need.

The keys to effective patient and customer communication include:

  • A - Acknowledge
    Acknowledge the patient by name. Make eye contact, smile and acknowledge everyone in the room (patient and families).
  • I - Introduce

Introduce yourself, your skill set, your professional certification and experience.

  • D - Duration
    Give an accurate time expectation for tests and identify/communicate next steps. When this is not possible, give a time in which you will update patient on progress.
  • E - Explanation

Explain step-by-step what will happen, answer questions and leave a way to contact you. Use language a patient can understand.

  • T - Thank You

Thank the patient. You may thank them for choosing your medical practice, and for their communication and cooperation. Thank the family for assistance and being there to support the patient.

Why is AIDET important now more than ever? We frequently hear that there is “no time” for AIDET given the increasing complexity of patients, the perceived decrease in the amount of time of an office visit and a variety of other challenges. On the contrary, incorporating AIDET into conversation does not require additional time, rather slight modifications during interactions. If fact, AIDET is proven to save providers time because patients are well informed and better understand their plan of care.

AIDET does not need to be robotic, scripted or time consuming. Include the five components in your encounters, but make it your own. Those who have done so report better relationships with their patients, adherence to recommendations and greater fulfillment with their work.

‒Written by Richard Rubin, MD, MBA, CPHQ, Studer Group


A person must be at least 16 years old to be a volunteer. All adult volunteers apply through the standard volunteer application and may serve as a short- or long-term volunteer. Teens, who complete a separate form, typically volunteer for the summer session, fall session or both.

The Volunteer Services Office presents volunteer orientation each month. The number of new volunteers fluctuates depending upon a number of factors such as the time of year and the start dates for certain programs and/or services.

Volunteer Placement
Each applicant must complete an interview and screening process before being accepted into the Volunteer Services Department. It is important to note that not all who apply are accepted. Because of the seriousness of our mission and our responsibility to those who rely upon us for care, we must base our decision to accept volunteer applicants on many factors. Appropriate communication skills, experience and background, knowledge of and interest in the health care environment and custom-orientation are some of the factors that must be kept in mind at all times.

The requirements for admission into the Volunteer Program are:

  • Completion of a volunteer application
  • Completion of an interview given by the Volunteer Services Department
  • Criminal background check for adult volunteers
  • Volunteer reference check
  • Tuberculosis and immunization screening
  • Formal acceptance into the Program
  • Orientation given by Volunteer Services Department
  • Departmental training for volunteer assignments

In order to continue their service, Volunteers must comply with the following:

  • All required continuing volunteer education and competency assessments
  • Annual volunteer education
  • Annual flu shot
  • HCM Policies and Procedures
  • Standards of behavior
  • Meeting Volunteer Performance Expectations

Volunteer Services Orientation

During the training program, Volunteers are oriented on the following topics:

  • Safety
  • Code of Ethics
  • Confidentiality
  • Emergency codes, responsibilities and procedures
  • Infection control
  • Mission, Values and Vision
  • Joint Commission
  • Patient transport safety


Volunteers are subject to the Code of Ethics as established at Hill Country Memorial Hospital. It is important, therefore

  • To respect all information as confidential
  • To be dignified, pleasant and quietly efficient
  • To follow instructions meticulously and accept supervision graciously
  • To remember that you represent the hospital while you are in the volunteer uniform, and to act in a manner commanding public respect for yourself and for the hospital
  • To not take advantage of your association with the hospital to seek free medical advice for yourself and others
  • To not seek favors for your family or friends
  • To be loyal to your organization as well as to the hospital

The greatest discretion must be used in mentioning anything pertaining to patients.

Avoid criticism of the hospital, its staff or its patients. Criticism should be discussed only with the Volunteer Program Coordinator – not with other hospital staff members or with other Volunteers.

Standards of behavior

This is a guide to help provide remarkable service to our HCM patients, guests and hospital staff.

While on HCM duty, you must practice the standards set forth below and encourage your

co-volunteers to do the same.


You must maintain a professional appearance at all times by:

  • Wearing your name badge appropriately
  • Maintaining a neat and modest appearance and adhering to the HCM Volunteer dress code
  • Practicing good personal hygiene
  • Limiting use of perfume, colognes, aftershave, fragrances, scented lotions and makeup.


You should listen attentively to the needs of all HCM patients, guests, physicians, employees and

co-volunteers, understand and respond appropriately.
You must maintain patient confidentiality at all times.

You can maintain good communications by:

  • Promptly notifying the Volunteer Program Coordinator of any change of address, email or phone number
  • Bringing any assignment-related issue to the attention of the appropriate person
  • Responding in a friendly and appropriate manner
  • Smiling and maintaining eye contact (10/5 Rule: at 10-foot distance, make eye contact; at 5-foot distance say “hello”)
  • Introducing yourself and your role at HCM
  • Escorting patients, family members and guests to their destination when required. Make the family part of the patient experience.
  • Inviting questions and comments when communicating with patients and guests, being sensitive to cultural differences.

You should use proper telephone etiquette by

  • Identifying your duty station and yourself with a pleasant greeting using this script:

Duty station, this is Volunteer (your name). How may I help you?

  • Asking permission to place the calling person on hold, assuring them of a minimal hold time
  • Giving the caller the extension to which you are transferring them before transferring them
  • Informing the receiving person of the nature of the call and the caller’s name.

You can practice good communication skills by

  • Checking and responding to Volunteer emails and calls daily when at your home.
  • Answering the telephone quickly and following the scripted greeting shown above.
  • Using a quiet, respectful tone of voice, being aware of your surroundings and of others who may overhear.

Hands-on patient care
Regular volunteers never perform any “hands-on” patient care services, regardless of any licensure, certification, etc. they may hold.


You should work as an HCM Volunteer team member with pride and take responsibility for your membership.

You can take responsibility as a proud volunteer team member by:

  • Attending General and Special membership and other meetings.
  • Adhering to the policies and procedures of HCM and HCM Volunteer Services
  • Cooperating with the HCM staff
  • Attending two (2) continuing education classes each calendar year
  • Representing HCM and Volunteer Services positively by not openly criticizing, complaining or speaking negatively of your co-volunteers or HCM.

Service attitude

You should do your best to maintain a positive, caring attitude that demonstrates empathy and concern for others at all times as you practice a service-oriented attitude while striving to provide remarkable service to all with care, compassion and understanding.

You can perform your service area responsibilities by

  • Being amenable to suitable assignments with consideration for personal preferences and requesting clarification when needed
  • Maintaining a satisfactory standard of work performance
  • Finding a substitute Volunteer for your assignment if you anticipate an absence
  • Notifying your Department Manager of any planned absence
  • Giving a minimum of 100 hours of service per year to maintain an Active Status
  • Recording your service hours appropriately
  • Being punctual and behaving in a professional manner.

You should treat colleagues (employees, physicians, volunteers) with a professional attitude by

  • Being courteous, honest and respectful
  • Speaking positively about one another
  • Being a team player – helping when possible
  • Openly discussing concerns and issues when they arise
  • Treating all people like you want to be treated.

Hospital telephone usage

  • Telephones and telephone lines are necessarily a very important working tool within the hospital. Therefore, whenever permission is granted by the HCM department in which you are working, Volunteers may make phone calls using HCM telephones provided they are short in duration.
  • Personal cell phone use should be limited and take place outside of the building or at least outside of your work area.

Benefits and Recognition for Volunteers

These are the current benefits of volunteering at HCM:

Cafeteria food services – Coffee and tea are available in the hospital’s cafeteria without charge to you. Daily specials are also available to you at a discounted price. These benefits are only available when you are identified by wearing your uniform.

Whimsies Gift Shop – Volunteers receivea 20% discount on everything except sale items.

TB test – A TSpot test for tuberculosis is provided free of charge to you during your enrollment process and thereafter as required.

Injury treatment – If you are injured while on the job, HCM will provide treatment. If a Volunteer is hurt while serving at HCM, you are covered by the hospital's special supplemental insurance policy. This volunteer coverage is not mandated under State laws, but HCM provides it as a courtesy to our volunteers who donate their time to benefit HCM.

At the time of injury, the Volunteer should proceed to the HCM Emergency Department after informing the Volunteer Services Department of their injury, where an “incident report” will be completed. In this injury case the Volunteer’s own insurance will be the primary carrier for the injury and the HCM insurance will be strictly the supplemental.

Once the Volunteer has submitted their applicable bill(s) to their insurance carrier and the carrier has advised them of their payment, the volunteer should submit their bill(s) to the Volunteer Program Coordinator for submittal to the supplemental carrier. Any charges not covered by the volunteer’s insurance will be covered by HCM.

Annual Appreciation Luncheon – HCM provides an Annual Appreciation Luncheon as a token of its thanks and to recognize service and accomplishments of each of you.

Wellness Center – Membership discount applies to active members of Volunteer Services.

Rehab Clinic – Membership discount applies to active members of Volunteer Services.

Free Uniform – Your first uniform will be provided free of charge.

MVP Award – This award is given to up to five volunteers each year who have gone above and beyond their volunteer commitment for the betterment of the organization.

Service Holidays

These are the official HCM service holidays when you are not expected to perform your usual service functions. However, if requirements dictate working on these holidays (or on regular weekend days) you may record double time.


New Year’s DayJanuary 1st (*)
Independence DayJuly 4th (*)

Labor Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving DayFourth Thursday in November

Next Day after ThanksgivingFourth Friday in November

Christmas EveDecember 24th (**)

Christmas DayDecember 25th (*)

(*) If the date falls on a Saturday, then the day before (Friday) is taken off. If the date falls on a Sunday, then the day after (Monday) is taken off.

(**) In the case of December 24th (only) falling on Sunday, then the previous Friday is taken off.

Some Common Hospital Abbreviations and Meanings

Bed Rest ...... May not be up

Bed Rest c BRP ...... May go to bathroom
Bio-Med ...... Department that fixes all the medical equipment