As a member of a relatively new program at the medical center, Eleanor has been a valuable asset to the program as staff attempts to improve volunteer assignments making even more meaningful and valuable to students as they pursue a nursing career. Her input has provided us with good insight on youth volunteer expectations and ideas to hold the interest of young applicants. She has been volunteering on a weekly basis since October 2001. Her present assignment on one of the busiest inpatient units can be somewhat taxing and stressful at times but Eleanor takes this assignment and runs with it. She approaches her work with a strong attitude and accomplishes what she sets out to do.
Eleanor realizes that working with people who are ill is sometimes a challenge and sometimes a huge personal reward. She truly enjoys working with the patients as well as the staff. She has been able to adjust her own responses to varied situations when confronted with patients who may be demanding or difficult; however, she realizes that her small contributions to their inpatient stay carries a tremendous responsibility and often makes a huge difference in patient satisfaction.
The combination of Eleanor’s pleasant demeanor and the knowledge she has gained in working with a very diverse group of patients and staff has certainly prepared her for leadership roles. Her continued interest in pursuing a nursing career has not wavered and has actually gained more interest as her responsibility level increased. When she was limited in what her assignment provided, she was able to observe the medical care team and learned that health care is very much a team effort in achieving holistic care of a patient. She also assists in the orientation of new Cadettes who are entering the program.
Eleanor has many gifts but perhaps the most outstanding is her ability to bring out the best in others. She has frequently been known to greet even the crankiest of people and make the experience rewarding for both she and the patient. While working in the inpatient unit, she grew to know many of our patients who had suffered losses of either limb or spirit. These patients needed the encouragement and reward of moving forward to gain back their mobility and even their spirit. Eleanor could always come around with a cheerful greeting and turn around an otherwise glum day for many of our patients. Her contagious energy and spirit are frequently the best medicine the hospital could offer.