Nebraska AIDS Project
Nebraska AIDS Project is a not for profit organization that is determined to lead the community in the fight to overcome HIV/AIDS and its stigma through education, supportive services and advocacy. (Nebraska AIDS Project)
I volunteered as an HIV testing counselor and special events volunteer. Within these roles I performed several tasks. As a testing counselor, I interviewed patients and received their sexual health history, discovered what they determined their risk behaviors to be compared to the actual risk in which they were parttaking, and developed an action plan to promote a safer, healthier lifestyle for each client. As a special events volunteer, I helped to implement some of Nebraska AIDS Project’s signature events. Working at each event was part of my responsibility as well. The events included the Omaha AIDS Walk, Dining Out For Life, and Night of a Thousand Stars events.
This experience gave me a great foundation for taking health histories, taking assessments and developing achievable, measurable goals for the clients. As a volunteer at the Nebraska AIDS Project, I gained an opportunity to interact with patients on a different level than has been afforded through previous positions. It taught me how to ask questions, communicate clearly and how to work with different types of people. During my interactions with clients I gained insight into different populations and learned how to deal with uncomfortable situations.
Nebraska Medical Center- Pediatrics Department
The Nebraska Medical Center is a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska known for its excellence, innovation, and quality care. The Nebraska Medical Center serves as a trauma hospital three times a week and provides leading care in the areas of oncology, neurology and cardiology. The hospital provides an opportunity for the children to have volunteers come visit during their stay to provide stimulation and a way to expend pent-up energy they might have. (Nebraska Medical Center)
As a volunteer at the Nebraska Medical Center, I played with sick children whose illnesses ranged from cancer to routine surgeries. During my time at the hospital, I provided a wide range of activities as an outlet for the children including reading books, watching movies, playing video games, and visiting the playroom. My role was to provide a distraction from their illness and be a friend rather than another authority figure.
Spending my Saturdays at the Medical Center with children opened me to a new population within the hospital that I had not worked with previously. This was a great opportunity and taught me how to interact with children on a new level. Volunteering also showed me not just the nursing side, but what it was like for some children to grow up in a hospital. This provided me with my first opportunity at family and patient centered care, which I have built upon in my first semester as an accelerated nursing student.