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February 24, 2007

Week 6: 2nd time at the hospital

This past Friday was the second time that I have gone in to volunteer at Children’s. I walked into the hospital as usual and was heading down to the volunteer office when I saw a boy being taken through the hallway in a stretcher with doctors and paramedics pushing him along. For a second I almost felt like I was in a T.V. show when you see people getting rolled around in stretchers and doctors going every which way. Although it didn’t seem to be an emergency, the reality of the situation really hit me simply because it was a little boy of maybe five or six years old opposed to any adult needing help.
When I got to the sibling play area it was a bit less crowded than the previous week. I met a few of the kids and began playing games and just spending time around the kids. I recognized two of the boys from last week which also made me realize how long some kids have to stay in the hospital. After the first hour many of the kids left and for about 10 minutes there weren’t any children in the play area. During this time, Charles and I cleaned up and wiped down a majority of the toys that kids had been playing with. Then, a little girl came in who was very well behaved and took her shopping cart around collected all the toys she liked and put them in her cart. Soon after a few more kids came in and we all just played with toys for the remaining time until the play area closed. When one boy left his parents came in and could smell that he had a little accident in his pants. His dad said that he shouldn’t do that and the workers probably didn’t enjoy the smell. He told the boy to apologize so right before the boy left he said “bye, sorry for the poop? and headed home. I thought this was pretty funny and it wasn’t too bad either since he was only there for about 15 minutes or so. After this, I had a little laugh, helped clean up and was off.

February 17, 2007

Week 5: 1st time with the kids!

I found out that I will be volunteering at least once a week usually on Fridays. This past Friday was the first time volunteering at the sibling play area in the hospital. When I got to the hospital I went down to the volunteer office and once again was greeted with a big enthusiastic hello from Natalie the secretary. I then met up with Ben who began to show me the routine regarding signing in and out. There is a touch screen that keeps track of each volunteer’s hours which I thought was pretty nifty. I then got a sweet red vest to throw on and we were off to the play area. I got a quick tour of the main floor and then we were off to meet Charles (the head of the play area). We got in and there were 3 or 4 kids hanging out. I met Charles and he gave me a very brief talk about how things work there. He basically told me to hang out with the kids so I went over to a 2 year old boy named Brock and began playing with marbles with him. It was fun to see how excited he got when we would race the marbles down a track they had set up. After a while we went over to the video games because Brock was fascinated by the game even though he had no idea how to play. We played a racing game and barely stayed on track once but he seemed to enjoy it regardless. I could tell that Brock had been to the play area quite a few times as he seemed to know where everything was kept. A few more kids came in and we all began playing with a big blue ball which seemed to entertain them all. After this we kept busy building a train set. One of the boys dads came in with the family and was video taping him with the trains which I initially thought was a little strange but then on second thought was pretty cool. It was kind of neat seeing the boy on camera simply getting a kick out of the trains. After a couple hours the play area closed so I helped Charles clean up and that was it for that day. I singed out in the volunteer office and off.

Week 4: The interview

This past Tuesday I had my interview at Children’s which was the final thing to do before I could begin volunteering. I took the 2 bus and got off and had to walk about 5 blocks to the hospital. I was a little pessimistic about this walk as it was a slightly sketchy neighborhood. Once I got into the hospital however, this feeling completely changed as I went down to the volunteer center where I was greeted very joyfully by the secretary. I could tell right away that there was a very positive and friendly atmosphere in not only the volunteer area but the entire hospital as a whole. There are many bright colors and the hospital’s environment gives a feeling of comfort more than most other hospitals. The interview itself was fairly simple and mostly consisted of the volunteer coordinator Ben asking me questions about previous experience and reasons why I chose to volunteer at Children’s. It was a very casual conversation during the interview and took about 20-25 minutes. After the interview portion, Ben went over with me the various places I would have the opportunity to volunteer at within the hospital. In the end we decided that the sibling play area would be the best fit for me which basically consists of hanging out and giving attention to the siblings of hospitalized children. I was very happy to get a position as a volunteer because I was told that I was one of the last spots filled because of the excess of people applying for positions. After this, the interview process was complete so I thanked Ben for his help, got my things, caught the bus and high-tailed it home.

February 12, 2007

Week 3: In Class Articles

This past week in class, we discussed excerpts from “Working? which I found very interesting. I enjoyed these excerpts because each was a personal story that I felt was easy to follow as well as relate to. Each character tells their own story of their work and lifestyle and I found it interesting how each person’s job can really play a large part in their overall outlook on life. Also, I found it interesting how such a variety of jobs can be so similar in the way these people view them and what they get out of their work.
My group was assigned to further look into the article “The Parking? by the character Alfred Pommier. I enjoyed this article as I felt the character “Loving Al? truly appreciated his work and the life he has lived. Although he works as a car parker, he completes his work to the fullest and does a very good job at what he does. In his prime he knows he was the best and was not arrogant, but very confident. I also enjoyed this article because Alfred seems to be very in touch with reality. He states when he got behind the wheel of a fancy car, he would pretend it was his own car and how great it would be to be rich, but at the same time he knew he would never have enough money to afford anything than his own average car. This is what I really enjoyed about this article; the fact that Alfred was very content with his life and in touch with reality. He seemed to be reminiscing about his life and had a very content and warming tone to the article.

February 11, 2007

Almost Ready to Start

Recently I have been finalizing the application process for Children’s Hospital. I have attended the orientation session which included roughly a two and a half hour meeting which informed us of standard procedures while volunteering at the hospital. Some things included in the orientation were activities that explain what to do when certain situations are encountered. For example, what actions to take if a missing child is reported or a “code pink? is announced. Also, issues were covered regarding confidentiality and basic ways to handle children and how to make the best of the volunteer experience. Overall, I felt the orientation was very long but at the same time interesting because it brought up things I wouldn’t have originally thought of. For example, it told us to say “goodbye? rather than “see you later? to the children so the children wouldn’t be expecting us to come back later in the day.
This past week I finished all the required medical tests including a tuberculosis test which was extremely fun and exciting. Once all the results were good to go, everything would now be ready to begin volunteering once I complete an interview. My interview is scheduled for early next week and then its time to start the big gig. I am very eager to begin volunteering at Children’s and be able to spend time with all the kids. I also am very eager to begin volunteering so that I can begin blogging about my experiences rather than my expectations of what I will be doing.