Every summer, area teenagers have the chance to gain valuable knowledge and experience while helping out in a hospital setting by becoming VolunTEENs at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC).
“The VolunTEEN program is for youth ages 14-19 who might be interested in healthcare careers,” says Crystal Lorah, specialist with PCRMC Auxiliary & Volunteer Services.
The Auxiliary sponsors this service opportunity for local teens, and the Auxiliary board provides funds for the VolunTEEN program. Two VolunTEEN sessions are offered every year, one in June and one in July.
This program normally draws about 30-40 students from Phelps County and surrounding areas, according to Lorah. PCRMC’s VolunTEENs are from Rolla, Waynesville, Steelville, Cuba, Salem, Edgar Springs, Newburg and Jerome. The students who volunteer must be enrolled in junior high or high school.
VolunTEENs offer assistance throughout the PCRMC organization from delivering paperwork to nursing units to greeting and escorting patients and visitors at the Medical Office Building (MOB) as well as the North and Main entrances of the hospital.
“They make reminder phone calls for Respiratory Services, take hospitality carts around to waiting areas and assist with clerical projects in Guest Relations and other areas,” Lorah says.
Additionally, the VolunTEENs make and deliver pain clinic packets as well as complete mailing projects for various departments, as needed. “They also work on folders or binders for other departments and perform other office projects and errands, as requested,” Lorah explains.
VolunTEENs help with the Take A Stand Against Child Abuse lemonade stands for the Phelps County Child Advocacy Network (PCCAN) and may assist in The Lily Pad gift shop.
Under the VolunTEEN program, teenagers must complete at least six three-hour shifts if they only participate in one session or complete 10 three-hour shifts if they volunteer in both of the summer sessions.
In addition to helping at PCRMC, the students learn about different aspects of the healthcare and medical fields. Many departments at PCRMC provide tours or presentations for the VolunTEENs to further familiarize them with the hospital’s daily operations and services.
PCRMC’s VolunTEEN program benefits students by giving them volunteer opportunities and hours needed for National Honor Society and scholarship requirements, plus college applications.
“I have even had teens use their volunteer experience on job applications,” Lorah says.
Applications for the VolunTEEN program are usually available in April and must be completed and returned by the end of May, with orientations beginning in June.
To learn more about the PCRMC VolunTEEN program, please contact Crystal Lorah at 573-458-7947 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tina Pridgeon, Auxiliary director, at 573-458-7939 or email@example.com.