Whether a volunteer has spent decades in healthcare or lacks any experience at all — they are valuable to West Valley, according to Lorene. There are unmeasurable benefits to having a range of healthcare experience among volunteers, because they learn from each other. She says the youthful energy of student volunteers also inspires the West Valley staff. An eagerness to learn sets them apart.
“In some ways, they remind us of who we were once. They’re young and enthusiastic and motivated,” Lorene says.
This year, she manages several international students from The College of Idaho. They have been among the best volunteers she’s had. They excel academically and want to be healthcare professionals.
“They’re all lovely. This is the most fun I’ve had with volunteers in a long time,” she says. “They all speak multiple languages; they are all just individually unique characters.”
The students, who are from Nepal, Cameroon and the Capital Republic of Congo, have assisted at the information desk, in patient rooms and in labs and wound care areas. They are pre-med majors and consider their volunteer experiences at West Valley a steppingstone to their future careers.
“As the volunteer coordinator, I feel that I can teach many things about being a great volunteer. But to also have volunteers that understand the compassion and sensitivity to care, which is paramount in a hospital, is something that many times only comes with time and experience,” she says. “Whether it was time spent in a hospital with a loved one observing the care you received or the years you worked directly at the bedside, these experiences are significant and important to our volunteer team’s success.”
Meet some of the volunteers making a difference at West Valley Medical Center: