Preparing for Healthcare Volunteer Jobs
Depending on the type of volunteer position you want, you are going to need a different set of experiences and background. That is true for every occupation and most volunteering activities. The nice thing is you can find a wide range of these opportunities to meet almost every level of expertise. For example, some positions will not require anything but a desire to help people. Others might require some basic medical training. You could find some that require extensive training and experience as well as a willingness to forgo regular income. You will find more about each of these types of volunteering activities below.
Volunteer Nursing Jobs
Nurses are usually in demand. Even though there are different levels of trained nurses, these professionals are critical in many fields. That is why it is no surprise that they would be in demand in the volunteering sector as well. A number of non-profit organizations, such as the Red Cross, could probably use volunteer nurses to assist at blood drives or other events. In many urban areas, free clinics are open to assist patients with little or no income who need healthcare, and many of these rely on a volunteer nursing staff.
These positions are ideal for retired nurses who have more time on their hands and who miss the feeling of helping others who need them the most. New nurses or nurses in training who need some experience in order to gain employment (most do not have any problem landing a job right out of school, however) can use these volunteer opportunities as great ways to expand their knowledge and experience. This can also be a wonderful way to give back to the community.
Volunteer Jobs in Hospitals
If you don’t have medical experience but you want to help people in a healthcare setting, you can find many ways to do just that by volunteering at a hospital. Most hospitals have volunteer programs for adults, seniors, and even teenagers who want to give back to the community and to improve the spirits of those who are sick.
Candy stripers have long held one of the most notable volunteer jobs in hospitals. Today they may go by different names but their job is the same: visiting with patients, bringing them books or magazines, and making sure they are well taken care of during their stay. Sometimes patients who face long periods in the hospital may get lonely and need companionship, and adult and senior volunteers can help provide this with room visitations.
Hospitals can also use volunteers to watch children in their day care facilities while patients are seeing doctors or while employees are working. In the pediatric wing of a hospital, volunteers are sometimes asked to play with or read to young patients. Seeing a friendly face can sometimes help them get well again faster.
Gift shops sometimes need volunteers as well. Volunteers can also be used to deliver flowers and mail to patients.
These volunteer experiences can be good for people who want to do something for others or for young people interested in finding a position within a hospital environment.
Physician Volunteer Jobs
Some of the best volunteer jobs are reserved for full-fledged physicians and nurse practitioners. In these positions, doctors are often asked to travel to locations within and outside of the United States to help people who need medical care when no qualified doctors are available. Many of the organizations that arrange for these excursions are poorly funded and therefore rely on doctors who will donate their time and energy to help others.
Finding Healthcare Volunteer Jobs
Of course, having the desire to volunteer in a medical environment is the easy part of the battle. You will need to find and contact the organizations which need your assistance. Sometimes that won’t be very challenging. If you want to volunteer at your local hospital, for example, you can visit their website or call them for more information.
However, if you are interested in donating your services to other organizations or facilities then the challenge can be greater. You may not even know all of the volunteer opportunities that are available for which you would qualify. You could do research and visit multiple websites trying to track down this information on your own, but that would be very time consuming.
The best option is to find a website that specializes in volunteering opportunities or in medical volunteering specifically. Organizations from around the country will post their positions and their contact information so you can easily let them know if you are interested in filling their need with your background and experience. The nice thing is that you will be able to search by location, so whether you want to stay close to home or would prefer to travel, you can find the right fit.