Patient Advocacy Liaison Services (PALS) Volunteers

PALS Volunteers LogoVolunteer Role Description - Wayfinder

Coming to the hospital can be an emotional and vulnerable time for people. Our volunteers welcome patients and visitors to University Hospital Limerick and assist them with way-finding, helping them find where they need to go in the hospital. Volunteers can also help patients and members of the public with any general queries they may have, such as arranging a taxi, where hospital facilities are located, how to give feedback on their experience. Volunteers work in pairs during their time with us.

Our Organisation

Currently there are volunteers in University Hospital, Limerick, Dooradoyle and there are plans to commence the service in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals over the coming months.

University Hospital Limerick is the largest acute hospital in the mid-west. It is a busy, bustling hospital serving the people of Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary with a 24/7 Emergency Department, over 500 hospital beds, a wide range of out-patient clinics and a designated cancer care centre. Volunteers form part of PALS (Patient Advocacy Liaison Services) which works to improve the experience of patients and the public who come to the hospital.

PALS Volunteer Tasks

  • Be an ambassador for University Hospital Limerick
  • Welcome visitors to University Hospital Limerick
  • Offer assistance
  • Assist with wayfinding to various wards, clinics, departments
  • Walk with hospital visitors to their location if necessary
  • Request wheelchairs on behalf of patients
  • Help gather patient feedback on their experience in hospital

Time Commitment

  • Volunteer service covers two sessions: 9.30am-12.30pm; 1.30pm-4.30pm
  • It runs from Monday to Friday
  • A commitment to at least one session, for a minimum of a three-month period


A PALS Volunteer will be based in University Hospital Limerick at the Volunteer Hub at the Out-patients entrance of the hospital, and will walk between the Main Reception, Out-patients, and the ward areas.

Skills, Experience & Qualities

  • Be comfortable in a hospital environment
  • Have knowledge of the basic workings of the hospital
  • Commitment to the ethos of volunteering and UL Hospitals- ‘Courteous, Caring, Professional’
  • Excellent customer service
  • Act in a professional manner at all times
  • Fluent English
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Be respectful and empathetic towards those who are using the hospital services
  • Walking throughout the hospital is required

How to become a PALS Volunteer

In order to become a PALS Volunteer in University Hospital Limerick, applicants must complete an assessment period which includes the following:

  • Interview
  • Induction
  • Garda vetting
  • Reference checks

Training & Induction

The Volunteer will receive a comprehensive induction programme prior to starting, including the following:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Data protection and confidentiality
  • Dignity at Work & Trust in Care
  • Communication skills
  • Hospital orientation
  • Introduction to key staff
  • Any other relevant training needs which may arise can be facilitated.

Support & Supervision

The PALS Manager will provide direct support and supervision for the Volunteer throughout their time with University Hospital Limerick.


  • Personal development
  • An opportunity to work in and learn about the hospital sector in Ireland
  • To be part of a Volunteer team
  • Opportunity to contribute to the experience of people who are often at their most vulnerable when attending hospital
  • Access to staff discounts in coffee shop and canteen
  • Access to staff carparking


The Volunteer conducts themselves in a professional manner, respects the confidentiality of all visitors who they encounter and does not discuss any patients or visitors to the hospital, the hospital workings or its staff after their volunteering. Good time keeping is essential as is reliability. A time commitment of three hours per week.