Is this volunteer position worth my time?

  1. 1
    Hello,

    I just got a volunteer position with Good Samaritan Medical Center in W Palm Beach, FL. I have a year left to finish my pre-reqs and was hoping to gain hospital experience and learn more about the nursing field by volunteering but they assigned me to Out Patient Registration and I am not too happy about it. I never worked at a hospital but from what I was told I will not have much contact with nurses in this position.

    I want to make the most out of my time there and work in a position where I will have a chance to observe nurses and see sick patients being treated. I selected emergency room area as my preferred department to work in but I did not get it. In fact none of the volunteers that started with me got what they wanted so that made me shy to ask to be changed into another position...I don't want to sound like I am there more for my own benefit than to give my time to the hospital.

    Please advise me on what you think I should do.

    Thanks!
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I also volunteer at my local hospital and I can tell you MOST hospital volunteer positions are not "working with patients" we "pre-nursing students" do NOT have the training.......what is it you think you should be doing with the patients that you are not doing? I can tell you, that the position you have is about as good as it gets when it comes to volunteering pending what unit your most interested in....my point is, most places, the most patient contact you will get is pushing papers or something very limited of the sort.....I volunteer in breast health and all I get to do is check patients in and out and take them to the changing room give them gowns assign a locker and explain that they need to wait in the holding area once they are changed......not exactly hands on but thats why I'm going to school, as I'm sure you are. If you want more experience you should take a CNA course and obtain a job as a CNA while you complete nursing school. But way to go on volunteering it's a nice thing to do and will look good on a resume!
    gracie7773 likes this.
  4. 1
    Volunteers are restricted in the type of patient exposure that is allowed. Your expectation of "observing sick patients being treated" is not realistic. That would be a violation of patient privacy.

    This position would enable you to become comfortable with 'interviewing' patients and their families - communication is a fundamental nursing skill. Customer service is also becoming a fact of life for nurses. You will also gain some insight about the business of healthcare - everything from insurance payments/reimbursement to how physician orders are converted into diagnostic and billing codes. It could prove to be valuable in the long run since you would have a much better appreciation of how nursing fits into the general scheme of things.

    When you are further along with your education, you will be able to apply for positions that have more patient contact & this job could give you an advantage.
    aknottedyarn likes this.
  5. 0
    Jennaroo is right. You're not going to get much patient contact if you don't have any medical education. I volunteer in the radiation/oncology department. Were not aloud to touch patients at all. The most patient contact I ever get is wheeling a patient to the car. But I love it nonetheless. It makes me feel good that I'm helping others. Not everyone feels that way, though. I'd say you need to go into it with a different state of mind. Don't think of it as getting experience in the field, because you're not getting much of that. Think of it as doing your part for the community, getting something to put on your resume and a recommendation for nursing school. If you're still not happy with it, then yes it's a waste of your time.
  6. 0
    Look for clinical care extender programs at local hospitals. The program is not in too many hospitals but it is a good program if you can get into it. It's basically a volunteer program for people who are interested in healthcare professions or currently in school for healthcare professions. They get to work with patients.
  7. 0
    Quote from LaceElaine
    Jennaroo is right. You're not going to get much patient contact if you don't have any medical education. I volunteer in the radiation/oncology department. Were not aloud to touch patients at all. The most patient contact I ever get is wheeling a patient to the car. But I love it nonetheless. It makes me feel good that I'm helping others. Not everyone feels that way, though. I'd say you need to go into it with a different state of mind. Don't think of it as getting experience in the field, because you're not getting much of that. Think of it as doing your part for the community, getting something to put on your resume and a recommendation for nursing school. If you're still not happy with it, then yes it's a waste of your time.
    I feel the same way you do! I also volunteer at a local nursing home......I don't do much, just paint the ladies finger nails but they love it and I love that I'm making them feel special.
  8. 0
    Thank you everyone for your input.
  9. 0
    Quote from jennaroo

    I feel the same way you do! I also volunteer at a local nursing home......I don't do much, just paint the ladies finger nails but they love it and I love that I'm making them feel special.
    How sweet! I wish I could do that much. I'm sure they just love that!
  10. 0
    It really depends on your personal goals. For some people, time is money.

    Good luck in making the right decision. Either way, you are getting something good out of it!
  11. 0
    I am a volunteer in an Adelaide hospital and the only people who get in the ED as volunteers are those on placement or those who are looking into paramedical care/nursing/medical school.

    The most patient contact I have is asking if they want tea,coffee or milo and fetching a sandwich everything else is doing the blue folders up, looking up on the computer where a patient is and giving the doctor their arm band ordering lunch and dinner restocking rooms with nasal specs/ cups etc.


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