In an effort to help burn survivors by having them share their similar experiences, the Nassau County Firefighters Burn Center at , under the direction of burn center nurse manager, Amy Pakes, RN, and Joshua Gropper, Esq., family of a burn survivor, has initiated a burn survivor peer support group.
The burn survivor peer support group has been in the development stage for the last two years in order to provide training for survivors and volunteers.
The Nassau County Firefighter’s Burn Center Foundation recently sponsored a training program at NUMC to provide burn survivors and family members with training as peer supporters for burn patients through the Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) Program.
“Survivor’s Offering Assistance in Recovery is offered by The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, as a program to provide training to burn survivors or their family members who want to volunteer to help others whose lived have been touched by a burn injury,” stated Ms. Pakes. “The NUMC hospital-based program is intended to help burn survivors and their families cope with and overcome the difficult challenges they encounter following a burn injury. It makes it easier for burn centers to work with volunteers in providing peer support to patients as peer support assists individuals in adapting to burn injury through sharing similar experiences.”
According to information provided by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, “Many people who successfully recover from a burn injury find purpose and meaning by helping others make the transition from burn victim to burn survivor. Those who recover successfully have learned a lot through trial and error and hope to make the road easier for others. The SOAR training program empowers volunteers with information and skills needed to provide appropriate forms of support.”
The Nassau County Firefighter’s Burn Center at NUMC treats approximately 200 burn patients per year in the burn center and over 1,000 patients in their out-patient treatment center.