otherwise known as a candy striper
I loved the job and it is one thing that I truly hope to do again someday (except that now I would be a pink lady.)
I started volunteering when I was 14 and was so happy to get my pink and white striped jumper! Back in those days, I knew I wanted to be a nurse so this was a very important step in my plan to enter the world of health-care.
My first assignment was on the oncology ward and although I enjoyed it, I was ready to move to a new area after my first year. During that first year, I got a nice look at the real job of a nurse, I formed very strong 14 year old opinions about which doctors I would go to great lengths to avoid, and I regularly saw the suffering and heartache that is so much a part of our world. One of the images that will stay with me forever from that term, we when I first saw someone I knew from the outside world on that floor. He was only an acquaintance, but I will never forget that day I saw him in the hall, hardly the person I once knew him to be.
My next assignment in the hospital was in the ER-coveted shift, but I had to take the Saturday afternoon shift, largely because the pink ladies with all that senority, took the weekday shifts. I loved the 2 years in the ER-the crazy busy times and the slow times. Since it was a local hospital, I saw people I knew every now and then. I had lots of opportunity to talk to people since most patients and family members were bored beyond belief in the ER. The staff is usually over-worked so I had plenty to do in keeping the rooms prepped, running to the lab, the pharmacy, central supply and the cafeteria for those demanding paramedics. Sometimes a nice nurse or doctor would even let me “help” with a procedure and I would hand them instruments or help prepare a cast.
My third assignment overlapped with my ER time and it ended up being my favorite in the end-I became the tour guide for all the Monday morning school tours. I had two big things going in my favor to get this job-I was homeschooled so I could take a shift in the morning and the pink lady in charge of the tours was my dad’s boss’ wife. Looking back, I find it slightly comical that a 16-17 year was leading the tours, telling the adults to keep the kids in line or the tour would have to end, for three school groups every Monday…But I was a dedicated tour guide and boy did those kids get an interesting tour!
All of this started as part of my future life in health-care. Obviously that never happened, largely due to the fact that after volunteering, I came to the opinion that it was a doctor or nothing. I was way too unmotivated to become a doctor, so that was the end of that life plan! (But I still have that striped jumper!)