1. Hi,

    Im interested in working with children, but Im not sure if I could handle the emotional aspect of a very sick or injured child. (I have 2 kiddos of my own a 2yr old and 4 month old)

    Would volunteering at a children's hospital be a good jumping point or should I try for a CNA position? The childrens hospital that Im looking at uses volunteers in many ways from running errands to being used in the NICU to offer stimulation, feedings to newborns, or to interact with siblings while parents visit their little ones. They also offer volunteer positions where you color,draw, read and/or play with the children at their bedside. You can volunteer as a student or as an adult, Im wondering if the students would get a better look at the hands on portion?

    Do nurses find volunteers helpful or more of a nuisance??

    thank you!
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    About CNM2B201?

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 352; Likes: 115
    from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   JeanettePNP
    Volunteering is always a good idea! It gives you hands-on experience with kids, and you get used to the way kids look and act with various diagnoses. Acting as a CNA has many of the same advantages, plus you get paid for doing it, so if you're able to find pediatric CNA work, go for it!

    In my experience peds nurses are very welcoming of volunteers if you're there to help feed or play with kids. Some nurses don't want you holding the babies too much though, because then they'll cry and want to be held all the time. It didn't sit that well with me, but that's the reality with kids in LTC -- there just aren't enough hands to hold them all, and volunteers come and go
  4. by   CNM2B201?
    at the hospital Im trying to volunteer at they have sooo many ppl that want to volunteer that I think there is a waitlist! volunteers are required to volunteer one shift a week at least 3 hours and you agree to 75 hours of volunteer time. I missed the deadline for the summer volunteer program where its 45 hours and the spots are open only to students pursuing nursing or other healthcare fields.

    Its also a magnet status childrens hospital and they take graduate nurses and give them pretty long orientations (usually 4 months) so Im hoping that this MIGHT help me get my foot in the door sometime in the future (if peds is a good fit for me)

    They only have one CNA position open (night shift which I couldnt do because my husband leaves for work at 5am) Ive checked before and they dont seem to have a lot of open CNA positions..probably because they retain their staff!!!
  5. by   JeanettePNP
    You're not limited to hospitals... try homecare or pediatric LTC. If there are organizations in your area that help special needs kids, they may be looking for volunteers willing to work as sitters or companions. Parents with a special needs child are VERY grateful if they can find someone to take over for them once in a while, and there are organizations can put you in touch with parents who need that kind of help.
  6. by   CNM2B201?
    Thank you! Im going to see if there are any agencies willing to take on volunteers or a CNA.
  7. by   Dela RN
    Quote from CNM2B201?
    Do nurses find volunteers helpful or more of a nuisance??
    On my unit, we love having volunteers especially when there are kids and babies who are alone in the hospital without family members there. Our volunteers are able to change diapers and sometimes feed babies so they are very helpful. Other times just holding a cranky baby who just needs to be cuddled is a lifesaver!

    Prior to becoming a nurse, I volunteered in a pediatric ward. It did offer me exposure to things I wouldn't have seen before but I don't think I fully grasped or knew what I was looking at until I got to nursing school and actually thought about it. At the hospital I volunteered at, it was mainly cuddling babies and playing with kids to give parents a break. Volunteers were not allowed to feed patients because of choking risks and liability so I guess it depends on the facility.