Sunday, June 29, 2008

Junior Volunteers Are Purposeful in Pink

Fauquier Health System has always been fortunate to have so many helping hands. Its volunteer force is large and active.

This summer it has swelled by about 55 (That’s 110 hands!), and these new recruits are eager to be of assistance.

Junior volunteers – all girls this year -- can be seen in nearly every department of Fauquier Hospital, at the MOB and at Warrenton Overlook Health and Rehabilitation Center. They’re easy to spot: they are wearing pink and white striped smocks and are between 13 and 18 years old.

Staci Hostetler, 15, and Liahona Robison, 14, were found last week sorting through old x-rays and purging files in the Medical Imaging Department. It was not exciting work, they agreed, but work that needed to be done. Both girls joined the Junior Volunteers to get a glimpse of hospital routine, and each would like to be a pediatric nurse one day. Staci, a sophomore at Fauquier High School, is putting in four hours a day the first week and Liahona, a freshman, eight. (The first two volunteer sessions are three weeks long; the third is two weeks. The students work weekdays, at least four hours a day.)

Caroline Shaw, 17, was getting a look at life in the Emergency Department during her first week as a Junior Volunteer. The Wakefield student would like to be a nurse one day. Caroline said she also is scheduled to volunteer at the Fauquier Free Clinic later in the summer.

Discovered folding robes in the Operating Room dressing areas, Molly Rodgers is 13 and attends Marshall Middle School. She is putting in her four hours a day in the OR. Molly reported, “I’ve learned that every patient has a lot of paperwork. And all of it is so complicated. I don’t know how the nurses understand it all.”

Once the robes were all folded, Molly was going to head down to the Bistro to meet her sister Sarah Jane for lunch. The 17-year-old sibling is volunteering at Overlook.

The Junior Volunteer program has undergone a few changes for 2008. For instance, a personal interview was added to the list of admission requirements, allowing Director of Volunteer Services Lynn Lauritzen to get to know the applicants before placing them in a department. Also, the girls are spending longer periods of time in each area, instead of shifting to a new location every day.

Lynn told her Junior Volunteers, “Your spending more time in one department vs. very little time in many departments affords you the opportunity to get more involved and receive a more in-depth learning experience.”

All Juniors will submit a scrapbook page they’ve created, due on the last day of their session. Each participant will receive a copy of this compilation of pages at an awards ceremony in October, along with an awards certificate.

Another bonus: Junior Volunteers were invited to apply for the Medical Camp, a two-day event that provided hands-on experience for the medically-inclined.

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