I'm still in HS, I'm a senior this year. At the hosptial where I volunteer, there is a summer program for teenagers, they're called "VolunTeens" and it's open to people 14-18yrs old. For the most part there is not much patient contact. It's mostly passing out ice, Gift shop work, things like that. I sent in the application two years ago and was accepted. I was THRILLED!! Let me tell ya! There was a spot for pre\post-op in our surgery department. I wanted that spot becuase I knew that it was similar to what my mom does. She's the Holding, PACU, and OR supervisor at the hospital where she works. After the first day of working in the preop area, I was hooked!! I continued to choose working in the pre\post op area that summer and I got to know all of the nurses very well, and I also started developing relationships with the physicians that use our ORs. It got to the point of everybody in the hospital knew who I was and wanted me to come and work in their department! lol. I enjoyed that department a lot that summer b\c I was able to have a good deal of patient contact. I helped the nurses get them ready for surgery, I brought them back from the waiting room (All of the surgery patients come in through AM admit) to the pre-op area, helped them get changed, explained what was going to happen that day, etc. I also answered the phone, which rings off the wall. The Director of surgery sent me a letter at the end of the summer thanking me for my hard work that summer and that she hoped to see me again. I found out later that she called my volunteer cordinator and asked her if I could continue to come up there and work even though the volunteen program was only during the summer. My cordinator said that was fine. As the relationships with the Docs, nurses, and CRNAs grew I started being invited to watch cases. The first time I was in the OR I spent the day with anesthesia, and after the induction the CRNA let me look down and see the cords before he intubated the pt. That was really cool. I've seen everyting from a lap chole to a CABG. I absorb every opportunity to observe cases. This is how i've been able to learn so much, they treat me more as staff\student than volunteer. Now, I know this is not the common volunteer experience b\c most hospitals don't allow their volunteers to get within 100 feet of the OR, but I've been VERY lucky, and have made some good contacts and some great friends. With school going on, I don't get a lot of time to go up there b\c we don't operate on saturdays unless it's an emergency. Although, when I'm out of school I do go up there and work. I love being up there and I would not trade spending the last two summers up there for a "Real Job" that pays $$$. The best thing that's happened from this is that my best friend had to have her second liver transplant last october, and the transplant surgeon knew me and told me that I could come in until anesthesia did their magic b\c jennifer was scared to death and wanted somebody to come in with her. I'm so happy that I had that opportunity b\c that was that last time that I ever saw Jen. I love volunteering and I will continue to do it until I am a RN or MD, whichever I pursue. I hope this is what you're looking for Bill. If you have any questions let me know.