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Where are the candy stripers?

Specializes in Mental Health, Medical Research, Periop.

Early in my nursing career I remember seeing candy stripers around the hospitals, reading to patients, passing out magazines,and just spending time with them. It was a great oppurtunity for young people to come into the hospital and get a feel for nursing. But now that I think about it, I havent seen candy stripers in a long time. Maybe its the name (and uniform) thats obsolete, because obviously hospitals still have volunteers. Does anyone work at a place where they actually still utilize candy stripers?:nurse:

For years now, I have only seen adult volunteers. BTW I was a candy striper about 45 years ago.

There's still a few teen volunteers in the hospitals around here, but I haven't seen that distinctive red & white striped uniform since I last wore one (almost 20 years ago!).

The name and uniform may no longer exist, but a google image search shows me that the concept of candy stripers still live on... just a lot more "adult" than I remember :eek:

Crux1024

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, Emergency, SAFE.

The "candy stripers" in our facility are usually elderly volunteers. They have a candy cart that also has books and magazines and walk up and down the halls. They also deliver mail and flowers. They just wear a blue vest here though. No stripey outfits. :p

In my late teens I volunteered in the medical records dept. of a hospital. I don't remember seeing anyone in a striped outfit. I don't think I have ever actually seen a candy striper. The only volunteers I know of at my local hospital are elderly women in pink smocks.

perfectbluebuildings, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I was a candy-striper about 10 years ago- had the red and white striped dress and everything :p I did enjoy it. Our hospital does still have teen volunteers, mostly in the summertime, but they don't wear the "candy-striper" outfits.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

There are a few college student volunteers and quite a few more retirees where I work.

They wear polo shirts with the hospital logo.

The cute stripey jumper went extinct when nurses quit wearing tailored white dresses.

Hospitals are more wary about letting untrained people have patient contact. Where I work, volunteers are more likely to answer phones, staff the family waiting room and deliver newspapers.

I suspect students are likely to have paying jobs instead of candy-striping.

Stcroix, ASN, RN

Specializes in cardiac-telemetry, hospice, ICU. Has 6 years experience.

I am a student and also volunteer. We wear polo shirts w logo. I work in transportation (did receive a long orientation) and have loads of contact with patients. I find the experience almost as useful as clinicals.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

No more Candy Stripers :-( - I think I still have my Barbie candy striper jumper though. The Barbie of today wouldn't be caught dead in that outfit.

Mostly the volunteers are elderly ladies now. I remember being a volunteer at age 17. We wore a peach-colored jumper over a white blouse with "Josette" embroidered on there for St Joseph's Hospital. Many patients would call us "Josette" and think that was about the funniest thing they ever came up with.

I learned all my mad wheelchair pushing skillz as a volunteer. :)

Mrs. SnowStormRN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health, Medical Research, Periop.

There are a few college student volunteers and quite a few more retirees where I work.

They wear polo shirts with the hospital logo.

The cute stripey jumper went extinct when nurses quit wearing tailored white dresses.

Hospitals are more wary about letting untrained people have patient contact. Where I work, volunteers are more likely to answer phones, staff the family waiting room and deliver newspapers.

I suspect students are likely to have paying jobs instead of candy-striping.

I think the last time Ive seen candy stripers (with the striped pull over apron) was probably in 2005 when I worked for the VA Hospital. I remember when I worked LTC around 2002 they would come there as well and read to the patients, pour ice and things. The tailored white dresses were loooong gone by then, LoL! (Although, I did work with a couple older nurses who still wore white dresses). I dont know what made me think about them, but I do think I found a hospital that still uses them.:nurse: I think that its really cool, even if the uniform has updated to polo shirts, volunteers are great(especially to get pre-college experience).

http://www.doctorsmemorialhospital.com/services/candy-stripers.php

Our Candy Stripers are now called Volunteens. Our regular volunteers which used to be women wearing pink (we called them Pink Ladies) are now just volunteers. LOL

Nascar nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC & Hospice. Has 34 years experience.

I was a candy striper about 30 years ago..haven't seen one since

BDRN32

Specializes in Med-surg.

The hospital I work at does not have "candy stripers" but has adult volunteers, teenage volunteers, and also volunteers with special needs.

NurseHopefulInOH

Specializes in LTC, OB/GYN, Primary Care. Has 7 years experience.

I had a friend in high school (about 5 yrs ago) who was a candy striper and she DID wear a stripey uniform

They have candy strippers at the Catholic hospitals still, where I live there are two such hospitals. The girls wear the candy striped skirt with what looks to be suspenders, but actually are the same fabric as their skirts, white button down blouse and the boys wear a candy strip jacket with white pants, both wear white shoes and socks. Their uniforms are ironed crisply and whatever is white is bright white. They hand out magazines, visit with patients, and I saw a few transporting patients in wheelchairs. I spoke with a girl not too long ago, told her I had not seen a candy striper in years. She said almost all of the candy stripers are from Catholic schools at least at the two hospitals I spoke of.

Forever Sunshine, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 7 years experience.

I was a candy striper(spell check wants me to make this stripper lol) at a local hospital here a couple years ago. I volunteered on a telemetry unit. The director of volunteers gave me a great reference and all the interviews I've been on, the interviewer complimented me volunteering.

Basically I filed papers into charts, ran errands for the unit clerk all over the hospital, go around to the patients and say hello, wheel them down to the lobby when being discharged.

Old.Timer

Has 25ish years experience.

This has been fun to read.

Forty years ago for me. Thin stripe pinafore dress with white blouse. Director of Volunteers was a RN and knew that I wanted to be a nurse; after a while she gave me really fabulous assignments in clinical areas.

I remember the Pink Ladies.

We have Junior Volunteers. They wear polo shirts with logo. A large majority of them are children of employees.

Old.Timer

Has 25ish years experience.

No more Candy Stripers :-( - I think I still have my Barbie candy striper jumper though. The Barbie of today wouldn't be caught dead in that outfit.

Mostly the volunteers are elderly ladies now. I remember being a volunteer at age 17. We wore a peach-colored jumper over a white blouse with "Josette" embroidered on there for St Joseph's Hospital. Many patients would call us "Josette" and think that was about the funniest thing they ever came up with.

I learned all my mad wheelchair pushing skillz as a volunteer. :)

I think you should take a photo of Barbie in her candy striper jumper and make that your avatar :)

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

I was an ER volunteer for 2 years. Volunteers ranged in age from 16-80s, and we all wore blue blazers. Duties depended on the department, but I passed out a lot of magazines, escorted visitors, and made coffee.