Volunteer in Tears

by moonlitxkiss moonlitxkiss (New) New

Hi Everyone, My name is Marissa and I volunteer in a hospital in the OB department. I am finishing up high school and then planning to go to college for nursing. I know there is another post a few pages down about volunteers and someone mentioned that maybe you can be at the wrong facility. I feel this way. If anyone would like to listen, here's my story:

I started volunteering in October of 2004 in the OB department. Loved it. I still do. This is a rather small community hospital. Only about 800 births a year. It is far from any other hospital --45 minute drive(including the major teaching hospitals) During last summer, I volunteered every Monday and Wednesday from 9am-7pm. I did everything they would ever ask me to do. I don't feel that I ever get in the way, I never tell nurses what to do, etc. All the nurses always say Thank You and tell me how I am in the best volunteer in that department. They let me hold and feed babies, etc. One time a nurse told me that her patient was pushing and asked me if I wanted to see the delivery so of course I said yes! I guess the doctor complained and I was told I could never do that again and I understood and the nurse took responsibility. This was probably last April. I have over 500 hours in this department.

I went a few times this September/October and my mother's breast cancer got really severe and she passed away. Throughout this whole time, I was probably going about once every 3 weeks, calling when I couldn't make it. They probably didn't hear from me for a few weeks right after she passed away. I called about 4 weeks ago and she told me that OB on Wednesday afternoons was fine. So I come this previous Wednesday night, and the nursing manager for the Ob/Gyn department comes in and tells me that I can't be there because another volunteer is scheduled at that time. I said I understood and would call the volunteer manager to change my time. She still seemed unhappy with that and picked up the phone immediately to call the volunteer office. No answer. Is it really THAT big of a deal if there are 2 volunteers on the floor on a rather busy night with only 2 Mother Baby RNs and 6 patients?

I feel like the Ob/Gyn nursing manager hates me. Again, I've never done to get in her way, etc. and if I did I would hope that she would tell me. She works closely with the volunteer manager and definitely wants volunteers on the floor. I just don't think she wants me there. We have a little "Medical Explorers Post" and we fundraise and do things around the hospital. I'm the person who is always there--collecting money, handing out Mother's Day flowers, buying her a gift for running the meeting, organizing which departments we will visit. I help with that more than anything. In the beginning of this year I needed to job shadow for school, she asked to see all the paperwork about it(Would I lie?) and then put me in the nursery. Even one of the other nurses was like..the nursery? I understand patient confidientality, etc. At our hospital, they make the babies stay in the room with mommys almost all the time. It's not a NICu so there was really nothing to see. All the other nurses on the floor always have the funniest conversations and bash the nursing manager. No one likes her.

My volunteer manager calls me back this afternoon to change my hours. She tells me that there is nothing in OB at all and they have a waiting list. I find that hard to believe. I told her with school ending right in the beginning of June I would be willing to come in early mornings, nights, anything and she said she didn't think they needed volunteers for the morning but she would have to ask the nurse manager of Ob/Gyn. I know for a fact my friend volunteers on select Saturdays(Just calling when she feels like coming in) and they always let her come in. I think the waiting list is BS and the nursing manager of Ob/Gyn just doesn't want me there. She put me in dispatch or something and said she'll check about Ob/Gyn in the morning--even though I did this last Summer she was like "I don't know if it's available this Summer" (Why wouldn't it be?) I'd make a $1000 bet she'll come back and say I can't do the mornings.

Thank you for listening! I just needed to vent! She put me on the schedule for doing dispatch--they wheel out patients, etc. and this was the only thing she offered me. I'm so unhappy and upset. I want OB! I know everyone there and I know what to do.

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

Have you thought about sitting down with the OB manager and asking if there's a problem? You can say something like "If there is a problem with me I'd like to know what it is so I can learn from it and prevent it from happening again in the future."


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

I agree with TazziRN that you should find out what the issues are before you jump to any conclusions. Ask the volunteer coordinator to explain the decision more fully to you. If necessary, talk with the OB nurse manager and listen to what she has to say.

Also... don't be surprised if it has nothing to do with your performance. You say there is a waiting list. It might be simply that they want to give other people a chance to have some time on the OB floor. You had your turn: now it's other people's turn. They may have used your absence as an opportunity to move the volunteers around a little. If that's the case, they handled it clumsily by not telling you that up front ... but that's not such a big deal ... nor a bad reflection on you.

I was a high school volunteer many years ago, and that hospital made a definite effort to see to it that we had the opportunity to work in several different areas so that we could see more of the hospital than just 1 or 2 units. They also wanted to give all of the voluteers the opportunity to work in the most popular units, which meant we had to take turns and share the time available in those areas.

Let us know what they say,




Specializes in ED tech on a resp. therapist adventure. 62 Posts

I agree with sitting down with the manager to ask if there is a problem. I volunteer also and I used to think that the manager in the ED did not like me but it turned out not to be so. Don't mull this over one more minute, go talk to the manager and find out. Good Luck and God bless........

Y'know, everybody wants the babies. Half of my class wants to go into ob/gyn. That others need a turn seems quite possible.

No one wants the old farts. Why not try there? A lot of those folks would adore having a visitor, and the workers on the floor would be happy to see you.


dorimar, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Education. Has 25 years experience. 635 Posts

well, i have to differ from the other responses. My experience in the "is it my perception, or do they really not like me" scenarios usually ends up with my perception being the truth. I bet you could almost safely jump to the conclusion that she has it out for you. However, it is probably becasue #1 she took heat for you being in the delivery, and #2 you weren't reliable to her anymore--double whammy. I would suggest that if she doesn't know the whole story about your innocense in the delivery incident, and your mom's breast cancer and subsequent death, you should fill her in. If she is still nasty and doesn't value you, then you really don't want to work (or even better volunteer) for someone like that.



4 Posts

Thank you. It was from the beginning that I felt she didn't like me. Like I said the delivery was awhile ago, and not a big deal--the patient said it was okay for me to be there and everything. My next question is, should I ask to go on the waiting list? I understand giving other people a chance, but a time might come up where they can't find anyone to fill(Teenagers are busy).



Specializes in OR. 528 Posts

Hi- You said you were finishing up high school- are you 18 yet? You could take a CNA class if that's the case. You'd get to do more than a volunteer plus you'd get paid. I don't know that you should go on the waiting list and here's why. When you are in nursing school, you have to rotate through all of the specialties, and adult med/surg is a huge part of that. Don't get me wrong-I'm all for specialties in nursing but getting exposure to different parts of the hospital and nursing will only help you in the long run. Try to think long term rather than short term-I know that it's disappointing right now but whatever will help you in your dream of a nursing career is worth doing. We need you!!!

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