Whether considering a medical career or just looking to get out of the house in the summer, St. Joseph’s Mercy’s junior volunteers are providing a valuable service.
“It’s one of the best programs I have put myself into,” said Brittney Dobyns, a senior at Lake Hamilton and one of the junior volunteers working this summer. “It gives me something to do and gets me out of the house, but it’s more rewarding when you know you’re helping somebody.”
St. Joseph’s Mercy chooses volunteers each summer to work eight weeks in a variety of positions.
“We interview each of them and try to ask what their ambitions are in what they want to study in college. Then we try to put those who are interested in nursing or medicine in areas where they can actually see nurses and doctors at work,” said Susan Rima, Director of Volunteer Services at St. Joseph’s Mercy. “And the others who are not sure, we place in various areas throughout the hospital.”
The junior volunteers work alongside the St. Joseph’s Mercy Volunteer Auxiliary and perform similar tasks. They do everything from stocking shelves and visiting with patients to answering call buttons and moving patients via wheelchair.
“They are trained in wheelchairs so they can push them,” Rima said. “And visiting with the patients can be a huge thing if there’s no family around. Seeing these young people really brightens their day.
Dobyns is in her fourth year as a junior volunteer and hasn’t decided on a future career. She’s thought about becoming a pediatrician but is looking into dentistry.
“I have worked in the nursery. I’ve worked in ER, I’ve worked on a pediatric floor, I’ve worked on 4 East. I’ve kind of worked everywhere,” she said. “It shows you the different things that go on in the hospital. If you want to go into the medical field, you know what to expect.”
The deadline for junior volunteers to apply each year is the first Friday in May. Each must be at least 14-years-old. They then go through orientation before doing eight weeks of volunteer work.
“They are just really great kids,” Rima said.
The 2011 Junior volunteers are Layne Adams, Crystal Bates, Ray Cimoucou, Brittney Dobyns, Courtney Dobyns, Kelli Elkin, Sarah Heller, Morgan Herrin, Mildri Herrin, Kyrsti Hickman, Alicia Keen, Patrick Lambert, Austin Larry, Avani Patel, Smitha Patel, Ally Sampson, Madhau Shroff, Guneev Sharma, Taylor Singleton, Kris Wilson, Rachel Wilson and Ann Xu.