Author: Mackenzie Heidkamp
Teenagers interested in medicine want to find ways to explore their passion, and discover if medicine is truly the right path for them. An amazing volunteer opportunity for eager highschoolers would be to volunteer at a local hospital.
Hospitals require a lot of workers and support in order to run smoothly. That means there are tons of ways to try and get involved! The first thing someone should look for when they search up their local hospital is if there is an established high-school program there. Typically these programs require an application, but once accepted, the program requires students to shadow doctors for a set number of hours a week while learning the processes going on behind the scenes at a hospital. However, some people do not have these types of programs available to them. In that case, there are plenty of other ways to get involved!
Many hospitals have volunteers working the information desk where they guide people to different places around the building. Another great job is a patient care assistant who helps to support patients by grabbing them things from supply closets and the cafeteria. However, if someone desires a more interactive job with patients, there is a volunteering job to play with and comfort children at hospitals. Usually these children are sick and they want someone to play with them and help them to feel normal, also this would really allow someone to see if they want to get into a career involving a lot of patient interaction. Lastly, hospitals usually need people doing filings or answering phones.
During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, these jobs probably will not be available for the next few months. But, it is still good to think about these opportunities now, since these positions fill up and require applications. If you want to volunteer at hospitals from your home, there are still plenty of ways to get involved: write cards to patients, make goodie bags for professionals on the front lines, make a donation, etc. All of these things should be approved by the hospital in case they have regulations put in place due to COVID. The best thing to do is to look at the hospital’s website or contact them in some way, and ask them how to help.