volunteer

Voluminous Volunteer Thanks

by Nursetopia on April 10, 2014

This is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. What. A. Week!

I’ve previously expressed what an amazingly untapped volunteer resource nursing is in general, but this week I haven’t focused on nursing volunteers; I’ve had my eyes and thoughts fixed on all the amazing volunteers who help within healthcare settings. They volunteer for all sorts of reasons and for varying time frames and in myriad locations. A lot of the times healthcare volunteers end up donating more than time because they see the needs and know how financial donations make a difference to patients and team members.

What I appreciate is that healthcare volunteers take their skills and put them to use in many settings. Some sit at the bedside of dying patients; some organize meeting notes and files; some prep certain aspects of patient care; some fill areas with music; some teach; some clean; some cook.

All care.

Have you thanked a volunteer this week?

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My Mind As A Map: Navigation for One

by Nursetopia on April 7, 2012

Here’s the last half of my week as a “mind map.” I thought this post would be easy; after seeing the map, though, it is one of the most intimate views of my life I’ve shared on Nursetopia to date. I am participating in the HAWMC to challenge my writing and thinking. This definitely did that. Hellllooo, Vulnerability. Still, I share it with you.

I saw a quote the other day that sums up everything: If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.

Have a lovely weekend. I hope it is full of everyone and everything you love.

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NHS3 Wants You

by Nursetopia on February 7, 2012

Want to join a special group of 230,000 nurses impacting the lives of women everywhere since 1970? Sign up for the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). Researchers need 100,000 female nurses and student nurses ages 20-46 years old from the U.S. and Canada to enroll in the third cohort, NHS3, of this longitudinal study. All study components are completed online.

The Nurses’ Health Studies have quite literally changed women’s health. If there’s an article published about women, lifestyle factors, or cardiovascular disease, chances are the NHS’s are involved in some way. This is a brilliant opportunity to volunteer, fill out some electronic surveys, and contribute to the greater good. Ask a friend to join with you, sign up together, and then add it to your resume.

I’m a NHS3 participant. Join me!

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‘Tis the Season for Randomness

by Nursetopia on December 7, 2011

Giving is one of my favorite things to do. Anonymous giving is that much more of a thrill. I love it when people get anonymous gifts and ask me if I had anything to do with it. Many times I don’t, but it’s just so much fun to be asked. It’s part of the selfishly generous mystery.

Random acts of kindness sparkle in my holiday calendar. They are all small moments or things, in my opinion, but they are fun and often catch others by surprise. Sometimes they catch me by surprise, too.

Want to join me this week? Look for one opportunity to perform a random act of kindness. Maybe it’s bringing in a coffee or hot chocolate for the co-worker leaving your oncoming shift. Maybe it’s an overdue thank you letter, delivering warm cookies to a lonely patient from an “anonymous” baker, or taping a dollar to the vending machine with an “Enjoy the snack!” note.

C’mon! Join in the fun; leave your random act in the comments so we can share smiles!

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Thankful for Blood Donors

by Nursetopia on November 9, 2011

Day 9: I am really thankful for blood donors. They save lives without ever meeting their donation recipients. It takes time and effort (and courage) to donate blood. Thank you!

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Coffee + Cervical Cancer Screening = Volunteerism

by Nursetopia on September 14, 2011

"coffee beans" by datenhamster.org via Flickr

Looking for a way to give back and see the world at the same time? You need to volunteer for my friends at Grounds for Health, a global nonprofit bringing women’s health to coffee-growing communities in Mexico, Tanzania, and Nicaragua. They use cervical cancer screening technologies such as VIAA to save lives in these resource-limited areas. Cervical cancer is a global threat, and you can make a difference.

Volunteering with Grounds for Health is sure to be an amazing experience. And if you can’t globe-trot, there are absolutely other ways to volunteer with this great organization. Get involved today.

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I Saw the Sign

by Nursetopia on March 29, 2011

As I ran the Dallas Rock and Roll Half-Marathon Sunday, complete strangers lined the race course to give high fives, cheer, and hold signs of encouragement. I loved it all, and it was a great help! Here are some of my favorite signs that lined the course:

~Your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much butt!

~If it was easy, we’d be running.

~Run, complete stranger, run.

~Hurry up, Mom. My legs hurt.

~Charlie Sheen inspired: Running, duh. and You’ve got tiger blood. Keep running.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering in the race medical tents, at the water stands, or simply holding signs of encouragement, you definitely should. It’s a tremendous help!

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Nurses Rock Volunteerism

by Nursetopia on February 3, 2011

Nurses are amazing volunteers. Working in the nonprofit sector, I have the privilege of working with many nurse volunteers. I’ve said it before – I don’t think nonprofits (health care or otherwise) capitalize on nurse volunteers or the professional skills nurses bring to the table.

I recently won Y Gen Out Loud‘s Y Gen Cares at the Holidays Contest. In case you wonder what I sound like in real life, you can check out the radio interview about my thoughts on volunteering, family, nursing, and service.

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The Stairs of Doom!

by Nursetopia on January 21, 2011

Take a deep breath. Go on. [Deep breath in through the nose…1, 2, 3, 4, 5…deep breath out through the mouth…6, 7, 8, 9, 10.]

Hopefully you inhaled wonderful, smoke-free air. Some of you may not have been fortunate to do so. Maybe you had difficulty breathing in due to a chronic disease such as asthma, lung cancer, COPD, or emphysema. If so, the American Lung Association works for you and the rest of us.

This May, the American Lung Association of Texas is hosting the 2011 Fight for Air Climb. If you’re in or around Austin, you should try to make it. Don’t think you can make it up 60 flights of stairs to the top of the Frost Bank Tower? Uhm, yeah, that makes me a bit nervous, too. No worries, though. There are practice climbs, which is awesome. Check out the first one, which is tomorrow – The Austin Stairs of Doom. Sounds fun intriguing, right? You can even mark the feat via Gowalla if you’re into it.

Practice, practice, practice. That means climb, climb, climb. Get ready for May 14th. Downtown Austin. Frost Bank Tower. Huffing and puffing. Breathing deeply. All for a great cause. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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Great December Reads

by Nursetopia on December 30, 2010

I’ve spent the past two glorious weeks with my amazing family. A good amount of time was devoted to reading and taking control of my Google Reader. It’s been wonderful. I thought I’d share an eclectic blend of some of my favorite December blog posts – not those I’ve written personally, but definitely those I have enjoyed personally.

As an iPhone and all-around technology lover, I enjoy the iMedicalApps blog. I was particularly thrilled with the announcement and review New England Journal of Medicine Image Challenge Questions Become an iPhone Medical App [Review]. I also nurse-geeked-out as I read Phrase Board can Help Patients with Speaking Difficulties Communicate Short Messages [iPad app]. Love it! And The Health Care Blog provides some great discussion on healthcare providers utilizing geolocation services (like Foursquare and Gowalla) in Geolocate This.

Paul Levy’s Running A Hospital is one of my favorite blogs of all times. It’s eclectic, practical, timely, and is usually the perfect chunk of digestible information. Some of my favorite reads from Mr. Levy this month have included Enthusiastic Transparency and Lives & Times. Another great healthcare read is from the Health Affairs blogWhy We Still Kill Patients – Invisibility, Inertia, & Income. Worth it!

As a mother of young children, it’s important my family volunteers together as we all serve our community. If you’re interested in the same, you might also enjoy the Volunteer Spot blog posts Four Reasons to Volunteer with Your Kids and Teaching Your Kids to “Walk the Talk.”

And while I direct a nonprofit organization, Dan Pallota’s Harvard Business Review blog is a must-read. He challenges the norm always and unapologetically. I love that. He’s posted twice in December, and both are worth your time no matter if you work in the nonprofit sector or not: How to Fix Misunderstandings at Work and in Life and Micro-Meddling Boards Undermine Progress.

Last but certainly not least, make sure to check out the great submissions and nominations for the first ever Those Emergency Blues Prize for Writing. I have loved reading from the best and brightest of the diverse nurse blogosphere.

December 2010 hasn’t been short on great content. Here’s to January 2011!

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