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Volunteer opportunity offers hands-on career experience

March 9, 2017 GMT

Local teens interested in the medical field may have a chance at a perfect opportunity to learn more about their chosen career through Floyd Medical Center’s Volunteens program.

Volunteens is operated by the FMC Auxiliary and is for teens ages 16 to 18. Twenty-two participants are accepted each year to work in various places at the hospital and receive hands-on experience in health-related occupations.

The Volunteens program offers opportunities in all areas of the hospital, not just medical, according to Carolyn Falcitelli, auxiliary manager of volunteer services.

“The students may work in IT or healthcare management fields as well as with the doctors and nurses,” she explained. “We try to match them with what they are looking for and interested in.”

The program has been going on for many years, Falcitelli said. They regularly receive about 40 to 60 applicants. Applications for the positions are available through high school counselors starting in April.

To be accepted into the program, the students must be a good- to above-­average student in school; fill out a reference form; and write a one-page essay on “Why I want to volunteer at Floyd Medical Center this summer?” Applications are due by May 3, and confirmation letters will be mailed to students between May 15 and 19. Orientation will be June 1 and the program runs from June 2 through Aug. 1.

The Auxiliary has also developed a Teen Ambassadors program in which participants must have had at least one year of Volunteens experience. Four ambassadors will be chosen and will be able to volunteer at the hospital all year, Falcitelli explained.

The teens help the hospital a great deal, she said.

“They are there to supplement paid positions at the hospital,” she said. “They provide that extra support and allow us to go that extra mile to take care of the patients.”

Teens may do things such as work the registration desk, show visitors where they need to go or go room to room with the magazine cart.

Ben Prevost, a senior at Unity Christian, has volunteered for two years and has found his experience very helpful, he said.

“I want to become a pediatrician, so when I heard about the program, I thought it would be a great chance to gain some experience,” he said. “I worked in several different locations, the cardio and ICU, the inpatient rehab and central supply. I was able to talk to nurses and doctors about their jobs. I shadowed a doctor.”

His experience has confirmed his choice of career, he said.

“I definitely want to be in the healthcare field,” Prevost said. “Really, this experience is good for anyone, even if they don’t want to be involved directly in the medical field. There are all kinds of different jobs you can do in a hospital.

“It’s also added to my appreciation for volunteerism.”