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Volunteer Diary: Day 14

September 21st, 2011  |  Published in Volunteering

Today was a slow day, and there were no doughnuts. The elevator in the Hospital was broken; I wasn’t surprised since the elevator inspection certificate had expired. Anyways, I managed not to get trapped in an elevator, find another one, and arrive on my floor. A couple asked me for directions to another location in the Hospital, and I felt bad because I have no idea about the layout of the Hospital. So much for being a helpful volunteer.

I recently learned that one of my professors works at the Hospital, also. His day job involves employing his PhD in anthropology to collect data on the development of pediatric patients who have been born with a particular deformity. I never considered that anthropology could be used for something like this, I have always associated it with archaeological digs, etc. Surprisingly, my professor is able to teach and work a full-time job at the Hospital.

I have never seen him at the Hospital though, because when I am there I am always busy. Plus he is busy, and it would be strange to just appear in the middle of his work day.

Doctor and nurse doing paperwork togetherThis is my 14th week of volunteer work, and I have come to enjoy it immensely. The nurses are really nice. They always have so much work to do, ranging from giving directions, administering medication, making patients comfortable, and then the odd-jobs like replacing batteries in portable equipment.  Seeing the nurses occasionally get frustrated with the doctors is funny/understandable, but overall they have a good relationship with them.

This month the Hospital is promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging employees to get flu shots. There is always some sort of charity fundraiser going on, which is great, but  I always feel bombarded by these things. Not only is it breast cancer awareness month, but also ovarian cancer, prostate cancer….and additionally every day is some sort of “national” fake-holiday, like international rice eating day and talk like a pirate day. Some days I just want to be normal! I have organized an small fundraising campaign for Susan G. Komen before, so I’m not evil, guys, okay?

Speaking of solicitations, at the train station I was given a pamphlet by a person who works at a hospital at which I had considered volunteering. The flyer was for a study involving persons with psychiatric disorders who had had run-ins with the law. Fortunately, I know none such people who have done both of these things.

However, this was my last week of volunteering as I had just been hired as a emergency department medical scribe!