3JPW and 4JPW are two oncology inpatient units at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. On these units, volunteers assist the health-care team in its care for patients recovering from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. As the duration of stay for many patients ranges from days to weeks, the primary responsibility of volunteers is to provide emotional support and stress relief to these individuals. Additionally, volunteers ensure unit-efficiency by stocking and cleaning rooms, maintaining organization of medical supplies, and assisting environmental and nursing staff.
Intense exposure to patients in the fight for their lives results in humbling, inspirational experiences for volunteers on the Cancer Inpatient Unit. The gratitude that patients have for volunteers also provides them with a sincere satisfaction unmatched in other realms of health care. Due to the high amount of patient interaction and independent work expected from the position, volunteers must be self-motivated, outgoing, and compassionate.
All prospective In-Patient Cancer Center unit volunteers will attend large group orientation, where they will receive general University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics information. Volunteers will then attend small group orientation, where they will receive unit-specific information and training as well as a tour of the area.
After the small group orientation, volunteers shadow an experienced volunteer mentor. This is helpful because it gives the volunteer a better understanding of how to react and apply what has been learned through the training sessions.
The dress code for this unit is a Volunteer Services polo, khaki pants, and closed-toe shoes. Shirts are available for purchase at Wild Rose Gifts (Main Entrance Lobby) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteers must follow the professional appearance policy, which includes wearing the volunteer badge at all times.
Shifts are available all days of the week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers will be expected to spend at least three hours per week on the unit.
Areas of Study Best Suited
This unit is well-suited, but not limited to, anyone majoring in any pre-health sciences field. However, any volunteer who is reliable, outgoing, and able to work independently is welcome!