Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 24, 2012

The Power of One

Duke Raleigh volunteers who have contributed over 1,000 hours being honored at the volunteer luncheon.

Betty Osborne Honored as Duke Raleigh’s Volunteer of the Year

Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year, Betty Osborne, is proof of the power one person has to make a difference.

“Ms. Betty,” as she is known at Duke Raleigh’s Pain Center, has devoted more than 1,000 hours of her time since she first began volunteering in 2008.

Osborne, a retiree who has worn two hearing aids since 1988, wanted to give her time after being a patient herself at the hospital (for two knee replacements). “You can have too much time on your hands,” she said. But she was reluctant to work with patients since she said she couldn’t reliably hear and respond to them.

So, the records department is a perfect fit for her. “The records don’t talk back,” she laughs. She doesn’t have to worry about not hearing them.

Osborne maintains a schedule that would exhaust most people. On the days she volunteers, she gets to work before the sun is up – at 6:30 a.m. “I get so much more done when I can get to the office early,” she said. She typically works two mornings a week but will work more if she’s needed. One recent week, she came in four days.

Sheila Barnes, manager of volunteer services at Duke Raleigh, can’t say enough about the good “Ms. Betty” has done. “Ms. Betty is a lovely person and is the sweetest volunteer the Pain Center has ever had. She is faithful and wonderful to all the patients. She is Johnny-on-the-spot and works well with all the staff members and is an asset to the team. The Pain Center would be lost without her.”

“Ms. Betty” was honored at a luncheon on April 30 as the hospital’s volunteer of the year. Duke Raleigh has been giving this award to an extraordinary volunteer since 2007. Hospital employees may nominate volunteers for the honor. Barnes said she looks for “volunteers that have gone above and beyond the call of duty” in selecting an honoree. “The volunteer of the year must display all our core values – excellence, safety, integrity, diversity and teamwork.”

Medical training isn’t necessary to be a volunteer in a hospital. There are plenty of tasks around a hospital suitable for volunteers with no medical background. Barnes said, “Volunteers are needed as shuttle drivers, at the information desk and in the gift shop, in the Same Day Surgery center – post-op, pre-op and registration – and in the emergency department, to name a few.” She added, “Our volunteers are exceptional people with extraordinary hearts, which was our theme for our annual luncheon.”

In summing up the role volunteers play in the smooth functioning of a hospital, Barnes said, “Volunteers are absolutely vital.”

Osborne said it’s nice to be needed. “I know I’m saving the nurses some time, and that’s a good feeling,” she said. “Plus, I love the people I work with. I’m very lucky to be there.”

The feeling is mutual. Congratulations, Ms. Betty, on being Duke Raleigh’s volunteer of the year.

Want more stories like this? Duke Raleigh Cares.

To learn more about how you can become a volunteer in a department that suits you, contact Sheila Barnes at 919.954.3882 or


  1. That’s a nice post.

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