The main task of volunteers in this unit is to help faculty and staff meet the needs of new and expecting mothers. This may include helping the staff do rounds, holding babies, and entertaining families.
Volunteers may help the nursing staff with caring for new and expecting mothers by getting water, assisting with paperwork, and answering phones. Other duties include assisting nursing staff with caretaking as needed and permitted by the condition of the infant; this may be done by calming and/or cuddling the infant. Volunteers may also be expected to give unit tours to incoming patients.
The Mother/Baby Unit can be a chaotic place and it is important that volunteers are self-directed, confident, outgoing, and respectful of all patients and families. Conversely the unit may be empty at times and volunteers need to be motivated to find jobs to keep busy.
All prospective Mother/Baby Unit volunteers will attend large group orientation, where they will receive general University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics information. Volunteers will also attend small group orientation, where they will receive additional training, as well as a tour of the unit. The opportunity to follow a mentor will be given to volunteers new to the unit before beginning to volunteer on their own.
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.
There are times available in three-hour blocks on the weekends and one three-hour timeslot each weekday evening. There are also one and a half hour openings throughout the weekdays, though not from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers will be expected to spend at least three hours per week in the Mother/Baby Unit.
Areas of Study Best Suited
This unit is well suited for anyone majoring in any pre-health sciences field, but it is also a great fit for anyone who wants a relaxing and rewarding volunteer experience. Volunteers must want to support a parent-infant relationship and make a special occasion stress-free for the patients.