Utilizing online tools to increase volunteer ombudsmen presence in long-term care

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Abstract

In this descriptive study, former and current volunteer ombudsmen (n = 65) completed an online survey and Chi-square analyses were used to determine group differences in order to examine the impact of internet-based communication on the recruitment and retention of volunteer long-term care ombudsmen. The results showed that the program's shift to internet-based recruitment and communication methods helped increase the number of volunteers by 50% and contributed to a positive shift in role perception and satisfaction. Consequently, the proliferation of internet and social media usage permits greater volunteer management opportunities than previously were available. These tools also allow for consistency of message, extended training opportunities, and recourse to resources at need which permit ombudsmen volunteers to identify more readily with the role of resident advocate and receive greater performance satisfaction as it relates to that role.

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