The University of Iowa Health Care Emergency Department is the only Level 1 trauma center in the area. Volunteers on this unit will see patients from a wide variety of age groups and demographics. The main task of volunteers in this unit is to cater to the needs of the people visiting the Emergency Department in order to make their visit as stress-free as possible. This goal is often accomplished by getting toys or coloring books for the children and talking with the adults in the Waiting Room. Volunteers in the Emergency Department should be able to work independently and possess strong interpersonal communication skills. In addition to patient interaction, there is the opportunity to observe medical procedures and traumas if they are interested.
All prospective Emergency Department volunteers will attend general volunteer orientation, where they will receive University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics volunteering information. Volunteers will also attend small group orientation, where they will receive training and information about the Emergency Department, which includes a tour of the area.
Finally, all volunteers must spend at least one complete shift with an experienced volunteer mentor before they can volunteer on their own. This is an important step for getting a feel for what the unit is like and allows the volunteer to develop confidence and experience before volunteering on your own.
The dress code for this unit is an Emergency Department polo, khaki or black pants, and closed-toe shoes. The Emergency Department has unique gold polos that you will check out when you begin volunteering in the unit. It is not necessary to buy a white volunteer services polo. Volunteers must follow the professional appearance policy, which includes wearing the volunteer badge at all times. Leggings are strictly prohibited on the unit.
Shifts are available in 1.5-hour blocks from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekends. Volunteers must select two separate weekly volunteer shifts.
Areas of Study Best Suited
This unit is best suited for anyone who is in a pre-health care field, but it is also a great fit for anyone who is looking for patient interaction and wants to help make being in the hospital a more pleasant experience.