Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Hospital Volunteer: “The Poop Incident”

Name: Tyler Murphy
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Grade: 12
School: Nevada State High School
Votes: 0

Youth Forward –
Scholarship Opportunity for Exemplary Volunteers.

I volunteer at a hospital. I chose it because I want to be a nurse, and soon a nurse anesthetist. I volunteer about eight hours a week. I have assisted CNAs in handing out water and assisting them with various duties. Some patients are lonely, and I’ll spend as much time with them as they need talking to them, letting them talk, and just being there for them. For those who don’t have anyone, I’m a shoulder to lean on. After all, being stuck in a hospital can be stressful. I also have helped the Unit Coordinator with accepting calls and organizing medical records. Sometimes, I’ll take over for the charge nurse when she goes to her afternoon meeting.

One of my biggest challenges was deciding whether I still wanted to pursue nursing after what I call “The Poop Incident.” I was holding up an elderly man while the CNA changed the bed cover. He couldn’t hold himself up and I made the CNAs job easier by helping keep him steady. When we switched sides, I held his back to my front so the CNA could pull the covers over the other side. It was sudden and unexpected. Being hit in the chest with wet poop, I mean. I couldn’t drop him
or let him fall forward and that tested my will power. I had to breathe to the odor and try to ignore the fact that there was poop dripping down my chest.

As I changed my shirt, I realized that things like this happened all the time to nurses and CNAs and it wasn’t going to be an easy job. This was a ground-breaking moment for me as I realized, “I still wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

The most satisfying thing about being a hospital volunteer is I can bring smiles and friendly company to people stuck in bed, surrounded by beeping and white walls. For those too weak to lift their arms, I’ll offer to help them eat and the smile they get on their face makes things like “The Poop Incident” worth it.

I chose to volunteer at a hospital because of my career choice. I love the hospital setting and don’t mind the idea of dedicating the rest of my life working in one. Later in my life, I would like to start, or participate, in a nonprofit organization for nurses overseas and provide aid to those who need it.

I absolutely think my work as a volunteer makes a difference. Maybe not on a huge scale, but bettering even a single day in someone’s life is something we all should strive for.

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