They ranged in age from 15 through a freshman in college and their reasons for volunteering range from an interest in a health related career to fulfilling community service projects for their school programs.
The summer Teen Volunteers program is coordinated by the hospital’s Volunteer Auxiliary, which is directed by Citizens BMC’s public relations director, Roxianne Ramsey.
“Areas within the hospital that benefited from the program included radiology, fitness and rehabilitation, ICU, the emergency room, purchasing, home health care, the surgical waiting area, the information desk, gift shop and some served as patient-visitor escorts,” said Yvonne McElderry, one of the program coordinators, along with Edna Wynn, who is president for the auxiliary.
The volunteers were required to give four house once a week, but several gave more than one day a week, she said.
The volunteers contact the hospital to participate, and are usually recommended by their school counselors.
Friday morning, they were treated to lunch at the hospital and received certificates for their completed service.
This was Katelyn Shirey’s first year to take part in the program, it was part of the soon to be 11th grader at Winterboro High School’s community service project for her membership in the school’s Student Leadership Team.
She said she spent most of her time helping with office work, but there are a number of nurses in her family and she was interested in experiencing a hospital environment as well.
“I think I mostly learned how to be patient,” she said.
This was Nicholas Hammonds’ second year to volunteer.
He’s thinking about a career in physical therapy and that what the Talladega High School student got to get some experience with.
Hammonds helped patients to use therapy equipment and assisted them with the various machines in use in the department.
Volunteer Breanna McKinney just graduated from Munford High School and is headed to Gadsden State to start working on an RN degree.
LaTeriya Stamps is taking a nursing direction, too, she’s set her sights on becoming a nurse anesthetist and has gained experience in a hospital setting.
For volunteer Samantha White, who completed a second year as a volunteer this year, there a big plans ahead for the medical field, too.
She intends to join the Navy after graduating from Winterboro High School where she will be a junior this year, and plans later to pursue a career as a medical examiner for a home health care agency.
“I like knowing I can help people,’ she said.
McElderry said the Teen Volunteer program grew from nine students last year to the 15 who participated this year.
“We hope our program continues to grow while we are serving our teens and they are learning to serve others,” she said,
For those interested in joining the program next summer, call Ramsey at 256-761-4297.