Volunteers? - page 2

Hey Everybody, I'm trying to find out how many NICU's are using volunteers. What are they allowed to do? What kinds of rules, and regs do you have? What kind of background checks do you do? ... Read More

  1. by   live4rachael
    I was recently selected to volunteer in a NICU at a research hospital... I had an interview and they did a background check on me, along with reviewing my medical records (shots/TB/etc). I met with the nurse manager on Thursday for about 2 hours and she told me what to expect as far as snuggling, etc., as well as a lot of training on their development. I go next week to shadow another volunteer for 2 hours, and then I can start volunteering the following week.

    She said that the babies that can be held, I'll be able to hold; babies that need to stay in their isolettes I can still reach in and hold... I'm allowed to change diapers, but she warned me that I'll have to build up trust with the nurses before they'll want me to.

    I'm taking a couple of pre-reqs to finish out what I need to apply to their accelerated BSN program; second career type. I had no previous experience volunteering in a hospital but my extensive experience with my daughter may have helped me getting to work in the NICU. They know that's what I want to do when I get my BSN.
  2. by   krisssy
    I graduated with a BSN in 1965, worked for 2 years as a school nurse teacher and spent the rest of the professional part of my life as an elementary school teacher. I also had three children. I am going to school to be a mental health nurse practitioner but after reading a lot on all nurses.com, it isn't advised for a nurse with no experience to become a nurse practitioner. For you experienced nurses out there, do you think I would be better off applying for a volunteer snuggler job instead and if i like it and do well, go on to apply to work on the unit as an RN? I already took a med surg refresher course. Are their hospitals that have cuddler programs and then special orientations for NICU nurses? Do you think this may be a better career idea for me? I love all kinds of nursing except for a few. I don't even want to be a nurse practitioner. I just want to learn as my schooling was so long ago, and after getting a BSN, there is nothing else. What do you think? Your advice means a lot to me. Krisssy RN BSN MA in MS nurse practitioner program
  3. by   prmenrs
    I think you could certainly explore the possibility @ a NICU in your area. Contact the Volunteer Office to apply, or they will direct you to the correct dep't.

    It needs to be said that NICU is absolutely NOTHING like med-surg. It's an ICU, and the pace of caring for incredibly sick babies can be quite hectic. Most units are a single entity. That is, the ICU level babies are in an area in close proximity to the "convalescing" babies (because a growing premie can get sick on very short notice and may need to return to the ICU, and the Medical and Nursing personnel are often the same in both areas).

    The best advice I have is to give it a shot. See what it's like for yourself before you head in that direction professionally.
  4. by   krisssy
    I just put in a call for a volunteer at a children's hospital in my area. I will eventually find my way back to nursing with the help of All Nurses-
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    Krisssy,

    I think it's a great idea. I've been working as a doula in L&D for the last 8 years, the last 3 as a volunteer doula as well as a snuggler in the well-baby nursery. Recently I've moved to NICU as a cuddler, and wow, I've discovered that it's just a whole new world compared to well-baby work.

    I think that I've said this before but I'm glad that I work as a cuddler before going to nursing school. This is not to say I wouldn't want to work as a NICU nurse one day, but I'm glad I've learned what the NICU is like before I've applied for jobs there.

    But I'm getting used to it. It's been great experience.
  6. by   krisssy
    What is a doula? I called a local hospital. One building is a children's hospital. You fill out papers, go to an orientation, and then they put you where they want-take it or leave it. So I will try, and I hope it works out. They may prefer me to be in peds being an RN with 25 years teaching experience. But I am also a mother of three with new baby experience-so who knows? But I really hope they put me with the new babies. It doesn't have to be NICU. If I could go from volunteering to an NICU orientation for new nurses, it may be a dream come true. You never know when the impossible happens. Once a unit likes you, it could be uphill from there. Krisssy
  7. by   EricJRN
    Quote from krisssy
    What is a doula?
    Check this out:

    http://www.doulaworld.com/doula/cfml/main/index.cfm
  8. by   BabyRN2Be
    Thanks Eric for posting that. I'm actually on there, and it reminded me that I needed to update my information since I got married - nearly 2 years ago!

    Also try:
    http://www.dona.com

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