Grand River volunteers spend summers with patients
Every summer, students around Garfield County spend their time doing anything from summer jobs to whatever comes their way. For Natalie Diaz, Ana Ibarra and the 55 young adults who volunteer at Grand River Hospital it presents a chance to get a foot in the door in a career they hope to one day pursue.
“I want to be a nurse,” Diaz said. “I’ve been doing this for two years, and it really gives us the chance to see the other side of hospitals and medicine.”
Volunteers at the hospital are asked to work at least 48 hours before leaving, and are required to go through a stringent hiring process.
Ibarra said that she usually comes in on her off days.
“It’s a lot better then staying at home doing nothing,” she added.
Young adult volunteers mostly work in the customer service and community relations departments, giving them the chance to help out patients and observe doctors and nurses. Other volunteers have been successful in the radiology, physical therapy and changing lifestyles department.
Grand River Director of Volunteer Services Kaaren Peck said that out of 192 volunteers this year, 55 are young adults. Their tasks range from taking patients from Point A to Point B, to meeting and greeting patients, community relations and more.
“Even by being in customer service and being with doctors and patients and nurses you can glean things,” she added.
Grand River Hospital lab assistant Elizabeth Loya and former young adult volunteer for two years said that working at the hospital gave her a place to further develop her passion, one that she turned into a career.
“I had an interest in medicine to begin with, and I got to expand on that at Grand River,” she said.
During her time volunteering she got more involved with patients, but what it really provided was a place to observe nurses in the field.