Carolina’s Medical Center

A volunteering interview by: Mackenzie Anne Gilley

All I knew when I was applying to Carolina’s Medical Center was that I would be able to witness and see the inner networking of a hospital; what goes on, and what it is like to be a staff member of a place where the sick go to seek help. I had absolutely no idea what I would be doing, but once a few of my friends recommended volunteering at the Charlotte hospital, I knew immediately I wanted to be apart of this experience. I applied a few months in advance to be a volunteer for Carolina’s Medical Center. After I sent in my application, I had to wait to be called back for an interview. I filled out a questionnaire that asked me to identify my strengths and weaknesses to see what department of the hospital I would best fit in. Once that was finished, the results came back and the volunteer manager, Julie, assigned me to the medical equipment department! I was ecstatic. After a few weeks of volunteering in this department, I quickly learned my way around the huge hospital. It was difficult at first, but I was assigned a partner and we were given instructions to deliver certain medical equipment to all different areas of the hospital. I got to see the different wings of the hospital, and learn about the different types of medical equipment hospitals use. After about a month of volunteering at the hospital, I was able to obtain a certain type of hospital jargon, and felt like I was well educated on the subject. Volunteering at CMC and delivering medical equipment was an awesome experience that I would recommend to anybody, not just the people who want to go into the medical field.

The Inspiration

When I volunteered for a year at Carolina’s Medical Center located in Charlotte, North Carolina, it was a life altering experience. Ever since I was little, I wanted to know what it was like to work in a hospital; I wanted to know what it was like to see people in need everyday, to help the people who needed it most. I wanted to know how it felt to help the sick and the dying, the children with cancer. It has always fascinated me, and I finally found a beginner’s way into the inside networking of a hospital. A few of my friend’s who are interested in the medical field talked to me about it and how awesome they felt knowing they could help people. They recommended I do it since I told them how incredible it seemed, and so I applied for the position, had an interview, and got the spot! I wanted to contribute to society; I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I have always had this internal drive and instinct to help people who need it most, so I think this is what inspired me to want to volunteer at Carolina’s Medical Center. I also volunteered here to see if my future path was medicine and working in a hospital. Having the opportunity to be able to volunteer in a hospital is something I think everyone should do if they have the time. You learn a lot about yourself and other’s around you, and there is no better feeling than knowing you contributed to society.

The Aha! moment…

Like I previously stated, you learn a lot about yourself and others when you volunteer at an unfamiliar place. When volunteering at Carolina’s Medical Center, I learned that you have to be very professional with the other people who are working in the same department you are. You have to have the ability to think fast on your feet, and to learn to navigate a huge hospital on your own. I think people learn best when they are thrown in a situation and have to be independent, take initiative, and be proactive about whatever it is that they are doing. I also learned how important it is to dress professional. We were given work uniforms to wear each day with name tags. Wearing a uniform really portrays yourself as a smart individual and gives you a sense of status. When wearing a uniform, you have to understand how important it is to be professional when you are wearing it because you are representing all of the volunteer staff, not just yourself. If you are respectful and professional, people will most likely give you mutual respect back.

To summarize it in three words…

Professional, initiative, hard work

Why should you do this

I 100% recommend volunteering at Carolina’s Medical Center, or any hospital in general wherever you live. It is an awesome learning experience that allows you to see what it is like to work in a hospital, an allows you to interact with sick people who may not have much longer to live. It enables you and gives you a new and fresh outlook on life. I definitely think that you learn to appreciate just how precious life is, and how awful a disease can be. You learn to value your family and friends more, and to take each day as it comes. It’s also awesome to volunteer at a hospital if you are interested in the medical field because it gives you an inside scoop on every day life at a hospital.

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