Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Griffin Hospital in Derby offers volunteer opportunities

Ansonia High School Senior Sanjida Shamim is one of many student volunteers gaining work experience and skills at Griffin Hospital. She is photographed in the Center for Cancer Care. / Contributed photo

DERBY - Summer is here and for many high school students, the time off from school offers opportunities to build their college application credentials and gain valuable work experience.

Griffin Hospital offers students a variety of volunteer service experiences in a dynamic healthcare environment.

“Volunteering is a great way to help the community and an opportunity to learn about working in a professional environment,” said Martha Denstedt, Director of Planetree Program Services at Griffin Hospital.
“Students do not need to be looking into a medical career to volunteer at Griffin. We offer experiences that can be applied to many different types of career fields. This is a great place for students to fulfill their community service hours as well as gain experience.”

For Ansonia High School senior Sanjida Shamim, volunteering has provided more than just work experience, it has helped her develop as a person. “Volunteering at Griffin has taught me patience and communication skills,” Shamim said.
 “I learned that people do things at different speeds and through different processes. I also learned to communicate my ideas in order to improve efficiency in my work area. I've definitely found a voice through volunteering.”

Shamim has volunteered at Griffin since 2013 and her duties have included baking muffins for the patients and visitors at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital along with being a candy striper.
She said she encourages fellow students to volunteer and experience the simple, yet profound satisfaction she gets from helping someone and putting a smile on their face.

“I literally love that smile," Shamim said. "When you know you are helping a person - even something simple like keeping a patient company – you realize volunteering is worth it. I started because I wanted to know I was making a change, even small,” she said.

Griffin Hospital student volunteers can also serve as hospitality greeters/receptionists, arts and crafts helpers (sewing, knitting, crocheting), room service providers, clerical support, and providers of soft touch massage, Reiki or Therapeutic Touch. Students are able to work in a variety of areas of the hospital including, Distribution, Dining Services, Medical Records, and the Community Health Education Resource Center.

Every student is trained to their particular service role so that they are comfortable and familiar with their work. Students must complete a comprehensive application as well as a health assessment form. All students are required to attend an orientation session prior to beginning their volunteer service where they learn about Griffin, the hospital mission as well as safety and volunteer protocols.

As an added incentive, the hospital offers scholarships to qualified student volunteers. For more than 40 years, Griffin Hospital has awarded more than 200 scholarships to students from the community in recognition of their outstanding service and contributions.

Applicants must be seniors in high school, completed a minimum of 100 hours of hospital service and be accepted into an accredited college/university in order to qualify for any of the scholarships.

“We love to see new faces walking in the door that have the drive to help out the community and their work is always appreciated,” Denstedt said.

For more information about volunteer opportunities call Tricia Brister, 203-732-7555.

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

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