I am doing my community service at Sibley Hospital for my Women’s Health Issues class. Since I do not have any clinical training, I cannot directly touch any of the patients, for instance like helping them use the restroom or change, but I am a main fixture in answering the call button and then fetching a nurse for their needs. When I am volunteering I help out all the nursing staff when they are busy in staff meetings or when they are with other patients by answering call buttons and getting them any drinks or extra pillows or blankets. Most of my time is spent interacting with patients and helping make sure that their stay in the hospital is as comfortable as possible.
Occasionally I get to move someone to the Sibley hospital rehabilitation facility, the Renaissance, or help discharge someone. Most of the patients that come to my floor, the orthopedic floor, are usually post-operations. We have a lot of people who are participating in physical therapy to strengthen themselves after their operation. The most important part of being a volunteer in a hospital is not when you grab a nurse for a patients pain medication, making ice packs, or cleaning IV stands-it is the friendly face, the smile, the encouragement that you give the patients as they struggle with their post-op walks up and down the hallway.