“Where can I volunteer?” is a common question for people who just moved to Mountain View. If you were actively involved in your previous community, you probably will want to do the same thing again.
If you want to volunteer on a regular basis, in a permanent position, El Camino Hospital’s Auxiliary is the place for you. I met with the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary Administrative and Placement Staff this week to find out more. I met 10 volunteers and I briefly shadowed one of them. There are approximately 600 volunteers at the hospital, including 250 junior volunteers (high school students).
There are plenty of volunteer (click on the word “volunteer” to see the list on their website) services available and, although the list changes constantly, some of the openings that were most needed most this week were Escorts, Golf Cart Drivers, Drivers for Roadrunners, Baristas for the Coffee Cart, and people to work at the Information Desk at the main entrance of the hospital.
Escorts are the volunteers who bring wheelchairs and carts wherever they’re needed, and bring x-rays, specimens, and flowers to various places in the hospital. They’re very active. They know the hospital well, even better than some of the hospital staff. Their particular group is rather social and it was fun to see them chatting and having fun in their office, which is located in the center of the hospital. Many of the escorts are good friends, have worked together for years, and choose to work on the same days as each other. That’s understandable. I will definitely request to be part of this group when I decide that I have time to volunteer.
Some volunteer positions interact directly with patients and others don’t. Volunteers can request positions and tasks that fit their personality.
Get started by filling out the Volunteer Application. You’ll have a Placement Interview and you’ll be trained for your new job. Training is normally three days. In addition to those three days, everyone who works weekdays will spend the first two weeks as an Escort so they get to know the hospital.
All of the volunteers that I spoke with told me how rewarding the job is and that they feel appreciated when they interact with hospital staff and patients. The hospital puts on a formal luncheon for the volunteers every year and they look forward to the event.
Several things to keep in mind before you apply as a volunteer at El Camino Hospital:
• Be willing to commit to a minimum of 6 months as a volunteer.
• Be willing to volunteer a minimum of 3 hours per week.
• You’ll find purpose, connect with the community, feel involved, get the chance to explore new areas of interest, meet lots of new people, and feel great.