Teens with an eye on the future — particularly a future that’s expected to produce thousands of new jobs to meet the needs of aging baby boomers — can put their interest to a test this summer in Chandler Regional Medical Center’s annual “Volunteen” program.
The hospital is bracing for the usual rush of applicants for the highly anticipated program, which has provided hands-on experience for more than 500 teens since its inception four years ago. During that time, participating teens have accumulated almost 21,000 hours of service.
As to the potential benefits, hospital officials agree that volunteering can provide a great opportunity for young people who may be considering a future in health care.
An informational session for parents and teens is scheduled 5-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25.
Volunteens should be between the ages of 14 and 18 (before June 1) and have an interest in helping others, gaining work experience and making new friends.
“Our goal is to inspire compassionate, dedicated future health care providers for our community by allowing them to witness quality health care firsthand,” said Barb Farmer, volunteer services manager.
Volunteens also are required to attend a kickoff seminar which this year features the motivational speaker and Hall of Fame wrestler Anthony Robles.
“We have a variety of opportunities available again this summer for our Volunteens,” said Farmer.
“Some volunteers really enjoy working at the information desk or helping people select items in the gift shop; others prefer performing administrative duties. We want to make this a fun, positive experience.”
Many teens return annually to serve, and each year they are presented with new and hopefully rewarding experiences.
Approximately 150 Volunteens will be accepted into the program this year, assisting with such duties as escorting patients, delivering flowers and newspapers, performing clerical duties, helping at the nursing stations and running errands around the hospital.
In return they receive a meal voucher.
“Volunteering for Chandler Regional is a great opportunity for teenagers to get an inside look at what it’s like to work in the health care industry while at the same time making an important and positive impact on our patients, staff and visitors,” said Farmer.
Dignity Health requires all Volunteens to serve a minimum of 40 hours over the summer as well as to attend three mandatory educational sessions. At the successful termination of each summer’s program, Volunteens receive a certificate of completion, a copy of their hours for future scholarship applications, a letter of recommendation and the opportunity to apply for the Dignity Health volunteer scholarship.
Students and parents can attend an informational session (registration is not required) from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in the Campo Verde High School Auditorium, 3870 S. Quartz St., Gilbert.
Students who attend the session will receive advance copies of the summer Volunteen application. For those unable to attend, applications can be downloaded online beginning March 1.
Information: ChandlerRegional.org, click Volunteer Information on the left-hand navigation bar. Volunteen applications will be available March 1-14.