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.
“Volunteers at Children’s-St. Paul start 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!
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 to 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.
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!