I am so glad to see this thread because I AM a volunteer in the ER at a major hospital in Florida. I must say that I have been treated well at times AND treated like CRAP! More on that in just a moment...first a quick explanation as to WHY I am a volunteer.
I was an engineer before I became a full-time stay at home mother. I raised my children to school age (BTW the HARDEST job I have EVER had) and then decided that I wanted to go back to work, but not in the Engineering field. I absolutely LOVE people and have always been intrigued by medicine so I chose NURSING! I am currently finishing up my pre-reqs and will apply to nursing school in December.
There is a shortage of EXPERIENCED nurses right now...NOT freshly graduated inexperienced ones. It made sense to start as a volunteer, and as I await acceptance to nursing school, I intend to challenge the PCT test so that I can work as a part-time PCT while in school.
In the meantime, I work one 4 hour shift per week as a volunteer. There are some nurses/doctors that I immediately knew had an appreciation for volunteers. There are others that pretend that I don't even exist!! I mean...literally LOOK THROUGH ME if I am in their field of vision or NOT ANSWER when I speak to them! I find it pathetic... On my second shift EVER , one of these nurses tried to blame something on me and referred to me only as "the volunteer" repeatedly, right in front of my face. I defended myself (respectfully) and tried to just blow it off.
I am an intelligent (3.8 GPA), educated, hard-working, compassionate, genuinely good person! How dare you treat me like an idiotic lump of crap? I am here to LEARN, and to work my butt off which actually happens to make YOUR job easier! I care about every person that comes through the door, when there is NOTHING (monetarily) "in it" for me! If I had the chance I would tell these people all of this AND give them one last piece of advice: "Beware...the toes you step on today MAY be connected to the REAR you might have to kiss tomorrow!"
Please...treat your volunteers well and don't work on assumptions that they are idiots. After all, one of us MAY end up being your boss some day!