Archive for May, 2012

What Not to Wear: Children’s Hospital Volunteer Style!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, students are finishing up their finals, and summer volunteers are coming onboard here at Children’s Hospital!

While you may be thrilled to break out your summer skirts and sandals at home, the dress code here at Children’s may require a few modifications to your summer style!

Before you come in for your volunteer shift, remember to consider our dress code, and a few helpful “what- not-to-wear” tips! With the help of a few style-conscious volunteers, we’ve put together a quick cheat sheet regarding our most-common summer dress-code downfalls!

1. Don’t Show Too Much Leg!

Your shorts and miniskirts are great to wear on the beach, but are not allowed when volunteering here at Children’s Hospital!

Volunteer Eric Gustafson models shorts- one of the "What Not to Wear" items for volunteers!

Even shorts with tights are NOT allowed! Thanks to volunteer Marji Branum for modeling this look!

2. This Little Piggy Went Home.

Closed-toed shoes are required for all volunteers. This means NO SANDALS.

Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Munson shows us "what not to wear" at Children's

3. Your vest may be sleeveless, but your shirt must not be.

No tank tops, or other sleeveless tops, are permitted during your volunteer shift.   This should go without saying, but please also avoid any revealing clothing such as tight, low-cut tops, see-through fabric, etc.

Volunteer Leah Grengs models the sleeveless look- a fashion "don't" here at Children's!

4.  “Nail” our fingernail policy!

According to our Volunteer Handbook: “Fingernails must be no longer than the tip of the finger, artificial nails [including acrylic nails, gels, etc.] may not be worn, and if polish is worn, it must be clear and have no chips.”

Painted nails (even cute ones!) are NOT allowed!

5. Remember your Volunteer ID badge!

PAWH canine volunteer Scylla displays her badge in a readable position.

Special thanks to each of our lovely Children’s volunteer models, and thanks to all volunteers for abiding by our “style rules” this summer!

2012 Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

2012 Volunteer Services Scholarship winners, from L to R: Amanda Monn, Hai Nguyen-Tran, Anvita Singh, VaShondra Harris, Laura Ruiz-Colon, & Danielle Honnette.

Last Thursday, May 10th, Volunteer Services had the honor and pleasure of celebrating the talent and hard work of six of our volunteers at our annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony. To be eligible for a scholarship, volunteers must have a minimum of 250 hours of service, complete a comprehensive scholarship application, and support Children’s mission through their commitment and excellence.  Danielle Honnette, Hai Nguyen-Tran, Anvita Singh, VaShondra Harris, Amanda Monn, & Laura Ruiz-Colon were the 2012 Volunteer Services Scholarship recipients. Our department is proud to support their future career goals by giving each volunteer a check for $1,000 towards furthering their academic studies.  We were fortunate to have President and CEO Dr. Alan Goldbloom, Vice President of Human Resources Dave Brumbaugh, and our own Director of Volunteer Services Sandy Bergeron speak on behalf of the organization, thanking the volunteers for their time and praising them for their efforts and care that they have given patients and families. In addition, physical therapists Lynn Tanner &  Katherine (Ites) Wacker joined us, sharing the positive impact that their volunteer had on the Rehab Department.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners! We are so proud to have had the pleasure of working with you, and wish you the best in your future endeavors!

Advice From A Past Volunteer (& Future Nurse!): Casey Monson

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Volunteer Casey Monson with cat Sammy

“So you wanna be a nurse, huh?”

If someone had asked me this in college, I would have burst into laughter.  Me?  A nurse?  I could hardly pluck my mother’s eyebrows for her without getting a little squeamish; why would I ever pursue a health care career?

As a Children’s volunteer, I got to spend time in the hospital, but didn’t need to do anything that made me squeamish.  Making someone feel better when they are in the hospital goes far beyond caring for their medical needs. As a volunteer, you focus on the emotional needs of patients and their families.  Volunteering involved me driving 45 minutes from my house, sometimes getting stuck in traffic, and sweating without any air conditioning in my car…but all of that faded the moment my red vest went on.

As a volunteer, you meet children who will stay in your heart forever because of the connections that you make with them. I remember one young boy who wanted to play Wii:  luckily, I have brothers and am skilled in the art of video games! I played for him while he pointed out the football plays that I should have made.  I don’t know a thing about football, but we smiled and laughed anyway. That day, he was really sad to see me go, and it was difficult to end my shift!  Another child I won’t forget was in no mood to play. She only wanted to be held and rocked, and made it very clear that she was not happy to see the nurses when they needed to come in to check her blood sugar. They finished their tests quickly, and I was able to come back and continue spending time with her: just rocking and holding, rocking and holding.  As a volunteer, be prepared to just be a teddy bear sometimes!

It can be difficult for a child when a younger sibling is getting so much attention because they are sick. I will never forget these two sisters that I spent time with:  they had more energy than an entire soccer team confined in their two tiny bodies. We played “house” in the playroom, where I did “homework” and the girls (“Mom” and “Auntie”) told me what to do! I showed them the Japanese alphabet that I learned to write in college. They were so intrigued, and in return, they started writing their own alphabet’s characters.  It was then my turn to be the curious one!

Volunteers help out parents, too. I will never forget a mother who was nervous about leaving her child with me because of his special needs. I mentioned to her not to worry, I have a lot of experience with kids with special needs (most of this experience coming from my brother who has a similar disability). Her eyes lit up, and I was suddenly just the listener she was craving.  She felt so comfortable with me that I spent my entire shift with them.  Don’t forget to be a caring listener; it’s one of the best types of medicine out there.

So here I am, weeks away from beginning nursing school, and I only wish that I would have volunteered sooner. To all Children’s volunteers, new or veteran:  you’re making such a difference, not only in the lives you touch at the hospital, but in your own life. Because of you, others find relief, as well as a fun playmate:  you may find that you are a “jack-of-all-games!”  No matter what sort of day you have outside of Children’s, your time here each week makes you stronger, kinder, and filled with power to make a difference wherever you go.

Warmest thoughts from a volunteer, who never dreamed she’d want to become a nurse….ever.

Sincerely,
Casey Monson
Inpatient Unit Volunteer, 2011-2012