I am going for an interview at a nearby hospital for a volunteer position soon. Since I am a pre-nursing student (applying in June), I will be volunteering under a student program, which has more possibilities than simply just volunteering. The interview I'm going to will be before a panel. They will try to ascertain the best place for me to volunteer based on their needs, my hopes, etc. They also want me to come in with ideas of where I would like to volunteer (unit type, etc.), the contact I want with patients, etc.
So, for those of you with volunteers on your units, here are my questions:
1) One choice I have is volunteering at the nursing stations. Do you have volunteers at your stations and, if so, how helpful are they? What do they do?
2) Other choices are in the ER, rehab, cardiac unit, etc., more hands-on or more direct patient contact. Do you work in a unit such as these where volunteers are utilized in useful ways? What do your volunteers do specifically, as it pertains to patient contact?
While I love people and would love to have the ability to volunteer all the time, I specifically wanted to volunteer prior to clinicals in the fall - hoping, of course, that I am accepted into my program - so that I will be more comfortable with patient contact and not have it be my first time being near patients.
Anyhow, I thought some feedback would be great before I go for my interview, especially since I know nothing about any of the units, what is done, etc. Volunteering on the nursing stations must have some practical things that will help me if I go to nursing school, like watching how things are done, etc., but I wouldn't have any patient contact, which is really what I would like.
I appreciate any and all of your responses. Thanks much!
May 20, '09
Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
The following comes from my first-hand experience as a volunteer in two hospitals and one community clinic as well as my nursing-school clinical rotations in two different hospitals (clinic, med-surg, postpartum, L&D, neonatal).
A common theme in all five locations has been: No direct patient contact and no access to medical records. What the volunteers have done in the various settings:
1) Disinfect/wipe down doors, counters, sinks.
2) Carry samples from the unit to the lab.
3) Refill the blanket warmer.
4) File paperwork and make copies.
5) Organize reference files.
6) Obtain supplies from central supply.
7) Carry IV solutions from the pharmacy to the unit
8) Bring the book cart around to patients.
9) Pick up menus.
10) If you're really lucky, shadow the physician when she sees patients.
11) Work on grant-writing.
I wondered about actual contact with patients. I didn't think it was usual for volunteers, but never having volunteered in a hospital, I wasn't sure. That helps give me an idea as to duties for sure. Thanks!
Oops, forgot one question...what does one wear to volunteer? Do you normally wear like black pants and a top with an apron or something? Thanks!
Last edit by mrsrlg on May 20, '09
: Reason: Added something