Natalie Montes

Service 2/2/2014

This summer, I volunteered at Inter-Community Hospital, which is part of the Citrus Valley Health Partners. I applied to volunteer, was accepted, and immediately started training. I specifically volunteered in the areas of Radiology and Food Service. When helping with Radiology, I was to assist in transferring patients to and from their scans and assisting with the scans themselves. On the days when I helped with Food Service, I took a beverage tray to all of the rooms and offered patients coffee, tea, or water. I was to be extremely careful with watching their diets and making sure they did not consume anything they could not have. My favorite part about volunteering was interacting with all of the patients. Many of them would smile and greet me when I entered their room. Being part of the hospital was a difficult process as many patients were very sick. The most important part for me was making them feel better in that moment. As I became known by the nurses in the hospital, I received other responsibilities such as refilling the coffee jugs in the emergency room and taking patients some other necessities, including blankets and pillows. It felt great to make friends with both the patients and hospital employees. The ability to speak Spanish proved a useful tool as I was able to reach out to more people and make them feel comfortable, especially if they had trouble explaining how they felt to doctors and nurses who spoke only English. A community of volunteers at the hospital formed and I was able to work alongside other teenagers who had the same will to help others. One important thing I learned is that you need not be a working adult to provide service to the community. Volunteering is a great way to contribute time to aid in the general well-being of the world we live in. Working to help patients in need brought to my attention the impact that a few hours a week can do. Unfortunately, when school began, it was not possible for me to keep the hours during which I had been volunteering. Because of the great experiences I had at this hospital and the joy it brought me to help, I hope to reschedule my hours and begin providing service again soon.

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