Hi everyone! I'm a career changer currently researching health professions I may be interested in pursuing. I have a BS in Psychology and around 10 years of unrelated experience. I've always been intrigued by medicine and health and am now considering a career in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, or as a Physician Assistant (although PA programs seem difficult to enter). I'm really drawn to Nursing the most, but I don't do great with high levels of stress, or large amounts of interpersonal conflict (I say I'm a lover, not a fighter!), so I'm very hesitant about it.
I'm interested in volunteering so I can make better choices about my future and what careers I think I would be successful in. I think it may also satisfy my desire to help the sick or injured and develop a bond with patients and families in some instances. I was wondering if you have volunteers on your units and what they do. I am specifically interested in the ICU, PICU, Psych, and NICU. I would like to have patient and family contact, so I'm not sure how open those units would be to a volunteer. Any opinions?
Jan 21, '11
Why don't you just shadow some nurses on those units. That would give you a good idea of the stresses that it incurs.
Jan 21, '11
We have volunteers several times a week. Most of them are scheduled during dayshift hours, but here's what I see of them on nights.
They stock the unit & rooms, they wipe down surfaces, and run errands. Some of the more outgoing ones will take the initiative to talk to patients and families; some don't. Sometimes we'll have patients that absolutely just love to talk and the volunteers are perfect in that situation, because the nurses don't really have the time to spend 45 minutes with one patient at med pass time (anywhere form 8p-10p), when I have 6 other patients to attend to.
And for reference, I work on an in-patient oncology floor.
Jan 22, '11
We have a few volunteers, they hold and cuddle babies who need some extra attention.
Jan 22, '11
You probably won't find much ICU volunteering because many of those patients are too sick for interaction and families will be a little difficult because they are in grief. NICU you can help hold and cuddle babies, but they will be stable ones and usually need cuddling because their parents are not in the room. Volunteering lets you see some of the hospital, but it really doesn't give you a realistic view of nursing duties. Shadowing will probably be more accurate if you can find that opportunity.
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