Candystripers

  1. Do hospitals still use candystripers, ie youth volunteers. I don't see them at my facility. It seems that having volunteers of this kind helps with patient satisfacton.

    Better yet, if they had "paid" candystripers, who were not volunteers, and not necessarily called candystripers, but something like a "sub nursing assistant", who could do the simple things that ofter nurses and nurse assistants don't always have time to do. Such things could include passing ice water, organizing the patient's bedside table, ambulating with patients who only need minimal assistance and are not a fall precaution, also answering call lights, and then getting the RN or NA if the patient needs something out of the scope of their duties. 16-18 year olds would be a good age for this position, possibly pursuing a degree in nursing after high school. Not to mention, sitters are a need, and sometimes there are not enough sitters for hospitals. This is another thing they could do.

    What does everyone think?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Antikigirl
    I was one wayyyyyyyy back when, and I haven't seen any since becoming a nurse...think it has something to do with confidentiality (yeah right).

    I know at my hospital anyone above 18 can volunteer! They are called volunteers and help with our community hospitals fund raisers, wheel patients out, help in the gift shop, do PR, and various other tasks...but not really medical anymore like when I was one (not that I did too much medical..but I could at least take VS's if needed...I was trained for that...and serve food/beverages, help with position changes and comfort, make beds, do partial bed baths...ours are NOT allowed to do any of that!).
  4. by   Katnip
    I saw one a few years ago in a Baltimore hospital. She was wearing white pants and a pink and white striped shirt.

    But that's the only one I've seen since I was one back when dinosaurs roamed.
  5. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Our hospital has "child life" volunteers, like candystripers and the same age, but don't wear those lovely pink-and-white striped uniforms!! I was one just a few years ago, all through high school so that would be until 2001. (At a different hospital that DID still use the striped "pinafores" when I started out... aww how cute NOT )
  6. by   jannrn
    The hospital I work at has guest services. They are not CNA's but do many things, including passing the meals (room service style).
    SMSC Guest Services
  7. by   BLGBARBIE
    I work at a pediatric hospital and we have "volunteens". These are teens that are interested in the medical field, possibly nursing. They'll help out by holding babies, playing with older kids, helping to put away supplies, stocking linens and we've even had them do some scrapbooking for the kids that have been with us for a while. They're really a big help to the staff.
  8. by   GeminiTwinRN
    we have them at the hospital i work at, they are called junior volunteers. they don't wear the striped pinafore though..
  9. by   TazziRN
    "Volunteens".......I like that! We just call them junior volunteers and they're only around during the summer. Occasionally we're lucky enough to get one in the ER, and they're a big help. Once we had one who was on his way to med school and he was great. He wasn't afraid to be in the room with something bloody and he knew when to ask questions.
  10. by   BabyRN2Be
    I was a candy striper many many moons ago at Scripps La Jolla. It was an awesome experience. I handed out water to patients, answered call lights, put charts together, delivered flowers once they got to the floor. It was great experience. On my breaks, I would go down to OB and see all the babies, this was of course at a time in which one could do that, it's basically a bygone era.

    We have junior volunteers now. They work only during the summers, but the hospitals are having trouble getting those to come out to volunteer. To get around this, they have the volunteer age starting at 14 (before they can drive and seek out paying jobs). They can wheel patients outside, deliver mail, work in the gift shop, but the coup de grau is working in the well baby nursery. Goodness, they only allow a limited number of people and the competition is INTENSE. And the retention requirements are VERY rigid. You can get kicked out for playing around, treating the babies like dolls, refusing the change diapers. I will say that the kids that are chosen are the very responsible type. Really Type A personality kids.
  11. by   justavolunteer
    Many hospitals have volunteers of all ages (like me!) who work on pt units. I can get water for pts, remove old trays for pts., etc. I also restock supplies in rooms, nursing carts, & sometimes help a nurse turn pts or re-arrange them in their beds. I can run errands for staff or transport pts if needed. There are youth volunteers too, but nobody wears the old candystriper uniform.
    The best part of volunteering by far is the appreciation. When I walk in on a particularly wild day and the charge nurse says "Oh thank heaven you're here" or "we couldn't have made it without you" as I'm leaving, I really know that I am appreciated. You can't put a price on something like that!
    Also, I have sure learned to appreciate nurses, CNA's, etc.,for all that they do (and put up with).

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