Are you "required" to volunteer?

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    Just got the syllabus for this semester's class, and we're *required* to "volunteer in the community" for two hours and then write a reflection paper on the experience.

    Note, this is NOT nursing-related volunteering, we don't wear our clinical scrubs or anything to identify us as students, etc. This is allegedly so we can get a "service learning" endorsement on our diplomas, but we already accomplished that with an earlier project in our first year.

    This just seems soooooooo odd to me. How can it be teaching us to volunteer and contribute to our community if it's a REQUIREMENT in order to pass the class?

    Note that I'm not anti-volunteering in the least ... I was a Red Cross Volunteen working in nursing homes, chapter houses, bloodmobiles, etc., as soon as I was old enough to do so! It's just that, to me, all it will do is turn people OFF from volunteering if it's FORCED upon them, particularly since we're required to volunteer in the community where our school is located, rather than the community where we live.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has this "volunteering requirement" in their program?
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  4. 0
    I had it at my school and even remarked at the oxymoronic nature of having "mandatory volunteering". Not to too my own horn but just for example my first year I packed goods for the homeless during Thanksgiving and volunteered at a geriatric civic center, second year helped set up during a Walk for Leukemia and helped at a soup kitchen.

    It's just one of those things thought that you swallow down and get it done throughout the program; their will be many of those. At worst it's a waste of personal time, at best you're helping other's and you can put it on you're resume.
  5. 0
    Is this a requirement related to your school's mission? A lot of faith-based schools (high school, prep school & college) have a similar requirement. Otherwise, I don't get it either.... are there any learning objectives to accomplish?
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    We don't look at it as "volunteer" for our Community class. We do however, work in the community, doing many things which are rewarding.
    Last edit by iPink RN on Jan 26, '12
  7. 1
    its only 2 hours, do it and get it over with.

    no we havent been forced to volunteer.

    sn: i thought our clinicals was forced volunteerism. either that or working for free lol!
    ashleyisawesome likes this.
  8. 0
    We had to volunteer 16 hours in one semester in my nursing program. they did not have to be nursing related and we could not wear scrubs or anything. i separated my hours between a home hospice and a local non profit art gallery.
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    Yes! Very much so. It's incorporated into our school's values and mission statement. I really like it, because it pushes us into new situations that we can learn from. That's the point of the service learning in our service-based classes. I'm looking forward to it. Ours is two hours a week for 10 weeks, pretty much. It could vary from site to site, but that's the average commitment each week. It is not a nursing class. It is a requirement of our school that we have three of these classes completed to graduate. Every discipline has to take them. I think it's a good idea, and I see the point. (:

    edit: I guess I should add that we do not have clinical this semester. We only have lab, and a couple of "out" experiences at an assisted living facility. It's not a lot for us right now. I'm in my first semester of a BSN program.
    GrnTea likes this.
  10. 0
    To clarify, this is not part of the school's mission -- this is a community college, not a faith-based or private school.

    It does not count towards our clinical obligations, either -- it is to be done outside of class time and outside of clinical time.

    And it's not nursing-related, either.... that's the thing that's so mind-boggling to me. Oh well, just another one of those "because I said so" parts of nursing school, I guess!
  11. 0
    Quote from brillohead
    Just got the syllabus for this semester's class, and we're *required* to "volunteer in the community" for two hours and then write a reflection paper on the experience.Note, this is NOT nursing-related volunteering, we don't wear our clinical scrubs or anything to identify us as students, etc. This is allegedly so we can get a "service learning" endorsement on our diplomas, but we already accomplished that with an earlier project in our first year.This just seems soooooooo odd to me. How can it be teaching us to volunteer and contribute to our community if it's a REQUIREMENT in order to pass the class? Note that I'm not anti-volunteering in the least ... I was a Red Cross Volunteen working in nursing homes, chapter houses, bloodmobiles, etc., as soon as I was old enough to do so! It's just that, to me, all it will do is turn people OFF from volunteering if it's FORCED upon them, particularly since we're required to volunteer in the community where our school is located, rather than the community where we live. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has this "volunteering requirement" in their program?
    Yes in my program we have to volunteer on Martin Luther King day for 6 hours. Most school make you do something but its for ur own benefit when applying for scholarships and even jobs when you graduate. My school also volunteers at a nearby HIV/AIDS house we make breakfast on the weekends and holidays we cook for them. That is strictly open to anyone who would like to but our student governments organizes it and is required to participate.
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    They have to do it, because at least in some states there're mandatory rules about "X" hours of "community nursing" experience a program must provide to students on certain levels of training in order to be certified, and faculty is too lazy or has too little contacts to make these mandatory hours into something useful for students. Shadowing a school nurse, or doing some education projects would be much more interesting, but faculty has to do all preparatory work, and they not always willing to do it.
    If nothing else, there's always something available in hospitals and community mental health centers. I know one student who somehow developed rapport with one particularly difficult client and just babysat and entertained her for the number of hours required. It counted as her "volunteering", as it was done after clinicals, and made great impression in the unit.


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