Today started my second week of volunteering. I now have two jobs. On Wednesdays I will be asking the new mothers to fill out address forms for their new babies. Someone started a Senior Volunteer Childhood Immunization (SCVI) program in Tarrant County some time ago, and last month the 100,000 baby was registered by the volunteer in this picture. The immunization rate places Texas in the 45th position in the US.
So far, only three hospitals in the county has this program. The hospital where I volunteer now only has three volunteers to handle the program. Doris does it on Monday, Harriet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I do it on Wednesdays. No one handles it on Friday or the weekend.
The mother receives notice when the baby is due for immunizations and she reports to her doctor. If you believe in childhood immunizations, and I do, it’s a great service.
The families must have proof the children have been immunized before they can enter daycare or later pre-school. If the mother doesn’t use those, they still have to have their shots before entering school, unless the parents home school which is a big thing down here in Texas.
Other volunteers collect all the forms at a central location and mail out postcards. It’s something to keep the seniors busy. I thought at first it was just the one hospital where I volunteer. Turns out it is only for three at this point in the county. We produce a lot of babies here whose parents will need reminding.
My main problem with this job is the fact that I don’t speak Spanish. I only had time to visit eight mothers this morning. None of them spoke English. It slows me down. I guess I will be learning more Spanish…enough to get what I need.
My next job is brand new. I am the volunteer guinea pig. It is to be a new admissions patient advocate. I’ll be traveling around the hospital to interview new admissions about the service they have received so far. They get to express their concerns. One didn’t care for the food, another had to wait five hours for a bed, etc. The great majority thought the service they have received so far was excellent. The ones who speak Spanish will be interviewed by the staff of the Patient Services Department. I can see now why I wasn’t even granted an interview with the hospital when I applied a couple of years ago for a job. You have to be bilingual in Spanish to communicate with the majority of patients there.
The hospital claims they serve people who speak 57 different languages. There is someone on staff to translate for all these patients. Talk about a global community!
I certainly am going to get my exercise. By the time the volunteers come, all the lots but the furthest from the hospital are filled. The hospital is huge and I will be visiting patients on most of the floors. I won’t be going to the psych. wards or ICU. I did an awful lot of walking today. Of course like most hospitals, the cafeteria is stuck in a far corner of the basement.
I wasn’t going to eat lunch there but it was almost 12:30 by the time I finished so I took the food voucher to the cafeteria. If you are there four or more hours, you get a basic meal for free. It’s enough to get an entree and two vegetables. If you want something to drink, that’s over the voucher and you have to pay. I decided I wanted water so I had to choose something that would total $1.00 less than the voucher. I found grilled rice and vegetables. They fixed enough for me to bring half home for supper.
When I got home, I realized I was tired. I almost skipped blogging today but realized I didn’t want to start doing that. I still want to be here every day…even if I’m publishing twelve hours later than I usually do. Afternoon naps can take up a lot of time. Namaste. Attic Annie