Which hospital volunteer assignment should I ask for?

  1. Hi all,

    I am about 90% sure that I want to change careers and go into nursing. I'm still working as a systems analyst and taking one pre-requ. at a time (only 1 left this summer!). A close friend advised me that I should do some hospital volunteer work to really "make sure" that I want to do this. I don't think it would hurt so I sent in my app yesterday and will go for an interview. So what areas should I see if I can volunteer in? I checked off "nursing unit" (whatever that is?) and the ER but really couldn't think of what other things would meet my objective. I know it's not the gift shop or info desk!
    Please make suggestions - thanks!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Check with the hospital to see if they have a nurse shadow program. You would follow a nurse on an average day.
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Any assignment that gets you to the hospital units will give you a birds eye view of what nursing is like. Once the nurses see you are there, they will likely keep you busy...I love it when volunteers come to my unit! Shadowing a nurse is a great experience too! Hope you like it in our crazy world....good luck to you!
  5. by   MEL101
    Good advice mattsmom81! You sound like a nicely seasoned person...
    May I ask where Texasville is in relation to Houston? I'm still learning about TX since moving here a few yrs ago...have a good one.....
  6. by   Havin' A Party!
    How 'bout a floating assignment? Where you get to "work" at several different positions?

    That's what I did last year when I volunteered. Spent time in the ED, transported patients to rooms, X-ray, etc., greeted families, delivered mail and lab specimens, etc. Got to meet / talk with a lot of folks and see a good deal of the hospital and its different settings.

    Share your situation with the local hospital's director of volunteer services. You may get some good suggestions.

    Good luck!
  7. by   Mimi2RN
    As a volunteer, I worked two jobs at different times. One day a week, I was a messenger for a few hours. Delivered mail, flowers, lab specimens, took new patients to the floor and oriented them to the room.

    My other position was on a small OB/Peds unit. Answered the phone and call lights, transported babies to and from the nursery, stocked the storage cupboard in each room. Helped with some of the little patients, when mom was not around. Even learned to hold for IV starts on the babies and toddlers.

    I found it all very helpful when I got into nursing. I was much more comfortable on the unit....knew were supplies were kept, when I did some of my clinical at the same hospital.

    I suppose that's one of the reasons I became a nurse, I kept thinking "I can do that!". Eventually I became a peds nurse, and now I work in a level II nursery.

    Unfortunately, not all Hospital Volunteer organizations are as well organized, or allow you to work in such a variety of places. It doesn't hurt to ask, though.

    I also received a couple of small scholarships from them while I was in Nursing school.

    See what volunteering can do for you!
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from MEL101
    Good advice mattsmom81! You sound like a nicely seasoned person...
    May I ask where Texasville is in relation to Houston? I'm still learning about TX since moving here a few yrs ago...have a good one.....
    I live in Fort Worth...use Texasville as a generalization...is there really a Texasville in Texas?
  9. by   Louisepug
    Hi, I decided to go into nursing this past year after much contemplation. I was going to volunteer at first at a local hospital to see if I wanted to get into the field, but instead, decided to become a CNA. In my opinion, if you have the time, this is the way to go if you're unsure. That way, you are really getting "in there" hands-on with patients,learning some medical terms, etc. I'll be finished with my class in May and have absolutely loved it so far!! Good luck to you. Louisepug

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