A Day in the Life of a Children’s Hospital Volunteer

February 23rd, 2012

Each week is different as a Children’s Hospital Volunteer! We asked Meredith Gilroy, a fantastic volunteer at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, to take us through a “typical” volunteer shift on the inpatient units.

Meredith writes:

“Volunteers at Children’s-St. Paul┬ástart off their day at the Volunteer Services office. Here, volunteers sign in, pick up their red vest, keys and the (oh-so-important!) float phone, and stop to say “hello” to Kristi and Lisa. After leaving the Volunteer Services office, it’s up to the inpatient floors to visit patients!

Meredith signs in for her volunteer shift and checks in with Lisa Munson, Volunteer Coordinator

First, I check in at the nurse’s station to see if they know of any patients who need a volunteer, and go from there. Sometimes when I’m logging in at the Volunteer Services office, Lisa or Kristi will give me a few room numbers for patients who have requested a visit from a volunteer, and I start with a visit to those rooms.

I’m a “float” volunteer here at Children’s Hospital. Float volunteers serve all the inpatient units, and are often called throughout the shift by nurses or the Volunteer Services staff, with requests to check on patients who would enjoy visiting with a volunteer. The activities volunteers do with the children on the inpatient units on a daily basis range from reading a book, watching a movie, playing a game, hanging out in the playroom, doing a craft project with the Child Life staff, or going for a ride in the Fisher Price car around the wing. Sometimes we even have a visit by one of the PAWH Program dogs! One of the many benefits┬áto being a float volunteer is that we are able to visit every patient wing of the hospital and spend time with children anywhere, from newborns to teens.

Meredith checks in with Lois Lindquist, a nurse on the 4th floor inpatient unit, and assists with keeping the playroom tidy!

No two volunteer shifts are the same for a float volunteer!

When I first started volunteering at Children’s Hospital, I was looking to help the kids in the hospital any way I could. I never imagined how much I would take away from it. There is never a day I leave my volunteer shift without a smile on my face.”

Thank you, Meredith, for all that you share with us each day as a volunteer here at Children’s Hospital!

2 Responses to “A Day in the Life of a Children’s Hospital Volunteer”

  1. Brendan Schlichting says:

    Hi I was wondering if its possible to just come to and volenteer for a day? I am 15 and I think it would be really fun!

    • Ingrid Arnold says:

      Hi Brendan,

      Thank you for your interest in volunteering! To protect the confidentiality of our patients, our volunteers do have a minimum commitment requirement, and must follow our 3-step process: application, in-person interview, and Orientation. Feel free to visit our website to learn more! Childrensmn.org/volunteer

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