Volunteering for future RN?

  1. Hello everyone.

    I am curious about what type of volunteering you would do, as an RN NOW, if you could go back before nursing school.

    Thought about getting my CNA cert. once I get my GED this month but it seems like it could be pointless once I get into Nursing school. As a volunteer instead of going for CNA, I could spend even more time volunteering, less time in school and still learn only a small amount less...

    I really feel like it is critical for me to get good experience before Nursing school. Not sure why exactly. Maybe it has to do with my confidence and thinking skills.

    I'm looking at two different hospitals to work as a volunteer. Surely there are other places but a hospital seems like a good place to start. I have also thought about volunteering at a homeless shelter because I think it would be rewarding to spend some time with those indviduals. Working with those people who do not live within ideal conditions could be a path to Home health care, from what I hear.

    Generally I do not have one specific nursing field that i'd like to go into so I am open to anything at this point besides LTC as I work in a LTC home.

    Just toss me some ideas... Where would be a good place to start?
    Last edit by FutureRNMichael on Jun 11, '03
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurse2005
    I will be volunteering in the Nursing Unit at my local hospital (ER Department). No better way to see what its all about!!
  4. by   sjoe
    Get a job as an EMT. It will serve your purpose and more.
  5. by   nowplayingEDRN
    If I could go back, I would do it all over again.....I would volunteer as a candy striper (which I did) for the nursing home and then I was a volunteer PT aid....from there I became a nursing assistant in a LTC facility. Went back 5 yrs after I was married for my GED. The day I took the exam, I submitted my application to the local Community College and enrolled in pre-nursing, my 1st yr and then went in to the nursing program the following yr (3yrs to get my AAS degree).
  6. by   Angelica
    What volunteer opportunities do the hospitals in your area offer? I have never seen volunteers on the units at the hospital in my community. The volunteers I saw were in the snack shop, gift shop and other places like that.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    the volunteers where i work go all over the place. just call the hospital and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator to see what they do and what opportunities they have for you. nothing like going to the SOURCE and getting the FACTS.
  8. by   Angelica
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    the volunteers where i work go all over the place. just call the hospital and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator to see what they do and what opportunities they have for you. nothing like going to the SOURCE and getting the FACTS.
    Absolutely. As for the hospital in my town, I think it's a shame they don't offer more for volunteers to do. They are a valuable asset.
  9. by   boggle
    Adult volunteers here help with transporting patients by wheelchair, but don't do the actual transfers of patient in and out of wheelchair. Even so, they do get lots of exposure to all sorts of patients, and get to observe nurses.

    We also have volunteer "sitters" who stay with confused patients at times.

    Most of the other volunteer jobs involve little or no patient or nurse contact. Those jobs are the paper sorting, mail delivery kind.

    Back in the old days, way before HIPPA, I volunteered before Nursing School and worked right along side of the nurse, making beds, helping her to get people out of bed, feeding, combing hair. I learned so much from observing nurses, especially how to talk to patients ( and how not to talk to patients!).

    Good luck to you Michael.
  10. by   mdwRN
    I would say try looking into EMT or CNA. Also, most hospitals hire Patient Care Tech's and you don't need to be either EMT or CNA. Then again any certification never hurts. I worked as an ER tech and as a volunteer with Red Cross. Looked great on a resume and the interviewers always commented on both. You also might get certified in CPR for health care providers and then go through the Red Cross and become a CPR instructor while going to school.

    I think it's great you are thinking ahead...good luck to you!
  11. by   meandragonbrett
    <~~~~Surgery volunteer for the past three years. I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm positive CRNA is what I'm looking for. Go for it michael. It will only help you.

    Brett
  12. by   rachel h
    You will learn so much more as a CNA than a volunteer. As a CNA, you get hands-on experience with patients. If you work with cool nurses (like I did as an aide) they will take the time to show you certain skills and explain things to you. You even get familiar with some meds, procedures, etc. I would recommend CNA (or EMT if that's something you're interested in) over volunteering if you're looking to gain knowledge and experience in the nursing field.
  13. by   FutureRNMichael
    OK, then my next question would be...

    Which is faster to obtain CNA or EMT License? I could be wrong but I have always heard CNA is fastest at about 6 weeks while EMT training is a year long.

    I have thought about both and will probably go with one or the other but I enjoy at least thinking of all my options.
  14. by   jayne109
    Here in Missouri, the CNA class is 2 weeks long and the EMT class (which I am getting ready to take) is 1 Semester long.

    When I was taking my prerequisistes for nursing school, I was a Cuddle Therapist at the hospital whose program I was going through. I loved every minute of it but when Nursing classes started, I had to quit because I had too much to do with work and school too.

    Good luck!:kiss
    MJ

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