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Pre-Health Volunteer Program: FAQs

General Volunteer Program: FAQsPre-Health Volunteer Program: FAQs

What is the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Pre-Health Volunteer Program?
The Pre-Health Volunteer Program is geared specifically for students interested in pursuing medical careers. Volunteers are provided with clinical opportunities, patient interaction and exposure to a hospital setting. In addition to providing wayfinding services for patients and visitors, volunteers receive opportunities to work in clinical settings and interact with patients.

Wayfinding responsibilities: Wayfinders work with all departments, especially Guest Services and Patient Access, to identify individuals in need of navigation assistance. Wayfinders give verbal instructions, walk visitors to their destinations and provide wheelchair assistance.

Clinical responsibilities: After completing 100 hours of Wayfinding, all Pre-Health volunteers are assigned to the Department of Surgery. Some duties include answering phones, paging staff and patients, restocking supplies, assisting nurses, interacting with patients and family members and accurately relaying patient questions and concerns to staff. Experienced Pre-Health volunteers also have the opportunity to work in Diagnostic Imaging, Pharmacy, the Emergency Department, Dentistry, Pulmonary and other hospital units.

Am I able to join the program if I miss the open enrollment period?
No, the program only accepts volunteers during open enrollment.

Is there are a dress code for the in-person application?
Yes, hospital dress code requires that all volunteers and volunteer applicants wear slacks (not jeans) and a collared shirt. Please dress appropriately each time you come to the hospital, including your application day, as you will be touring the hospital on a self-guided tour.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the mandatory orientation?
Yes! You need to bring your:

  • State-issued ID
  • Personal calendar
  • Personal lock (optional but recommended)
  • ADIET Scripts

If I miss the open enrollment period but still want to volunteer, should I drop by the office and talk with someone?
No. Instead, please refer to the website to learn about the next open enrollment period.

What is the time commitment for the Pre-Health program?
We ask Pre-Health volunteers who start in the fall to make a 120-hour commitment over the academic school year (September through May). We ask our summer volunteers to volunteer once a week from June 2nd-August 15th. Of course, exceptions are made for summer vacations and students returning to school.

Will the volunteer program provide me with a letter of recommendation?
Once you have volunteered for a total of 100 hours, we can provide a letter of recommendation. The letter will reflect the quality of the work you do.

Can you provide me more information regarding the mandatory orientation?
The Pre-Health Volunteer Program is geared toward individuals who posses critical thinking abilities and are able to work both independently and as part of a team.

AIMMC is one of the Top 100 hospitals in the country, a Level 1 Trauma Center, and a very busy city hospital. The campus is spread over several city blocks. The hospital’s volunteers are highly valued as they play an important role in providing excellent customer services to our patient and visitors. It’s extremely important that hospital volunteers are able to navigate the hospital comfortably, while walking or pushing patients in wheelchairs. Volunteers are also expected to be hospital ambassadors to patients and visitors and it is therefore necessary that they are familiar with the hospitals policies, procedures and safety precautions.

In short, there is a lot to learn and a short time to learn it. This is why we ask new volunteers to review the Wayfinding Training Packet before orientation and to come prepared with their AIDET script. Upon greeting patients and visitors, volunteers are always expected to introduce themselves as volunteers and offer to walk the guest to his or her destination while modeling AIDET.

AIDET is a framework for all Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center associates to use in communicating with patients and their families as well as with each other. It is a simple acronym that represents a very powerful way to communicate with people who are often feeling nervous, anxious and vulnerable. It can also be used as we communicate with other staff and colleagues, especially when we are providing an internal service.

Acknowledge. Greet people with a smile. Attitude is everything. Create a lasting impression.
Example: "Good morning. Welcome to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.”

Introduce. Introduce yourself to others politely. Tell them who you are and how you are going to help them. Wayfinders walk people to their destinations, rather than pointing or giving directions.
Example: “My name is Bill and I am a volunteer. I am here to walk you to your destination. We are in the Medical Office Center and need to go to Physical Therapy in the hospital. We are going to take this elevator up to the second floor and walk across a bridge that connects this building to the hospital. Physical Therapy is on the third floor of the hospital, just around the corner from elevator 2.”
If there is time and it seems appropriate, you may want to tell them about yourself and why you are volunteering.
Example: “I am a pre-med student and am volunteering here because Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center has an excellent Pre-Health Volunteer Program. I would like to be a pediatrician.”

Duration. Keep in touch while you are escorting them.
Example: “It’s going to take us about five minutes to walk there. I am going to walk with you the whole way to make sure you arrive at your destination. The unit secretary would be happy to have someone walk you back – just ask them to call a volutneer in case they don’t have one waiting for you.”

Explanation. Inform the patient why you are walking them to their destination. Talk, listen and learn. Make time to help. Ask, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
Example: “Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a large hospital. In fact, it has actually been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the country for the last five years. However, its size makes it hard to navigate, which is why the hospital provides volunteers to walk people to their destination.”

Thank You. Thank the person for coming to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
Example: "Thank you for letting me walk you and for coming to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. I’ve enjoyed talking with you. Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time."

During orientation, volunteers will also:

  • Learn how to navigate the campus
  • Learn how to safely provide wheelchair assistance.
  • Divide into groups and go on self-guided tours

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