Why do you volunteer with Monument Health?
I spent essentially all of my adult life working in a hospital, and I love that environment. I love working with hospital personnel, particularly the nursing staff and the nurse aides. This gives me an opportunity to do what I love and to help out the nurses that are volunteering at the same time.
What is the Volunteer Nurse Corps?
In South Dakota, nurses must actively work in nursing to renew their license. They have to get a certain number of hours in each two year cycle, and if they don’t want a job — perhaps they are retired, or a stay at home parent — but want to maintain their license, they look for opportunities to work in nursing as a volunteer. When I came to volunteer in 2013, I was asked to take over the program and make sure it was working properly.
What else have you done as a volunteer?
I’m very proud of my role in starting Operation Patriot. I am a retired military nurse and when I started volunteering I wanted to find a way to show veteran patients that the hospital cares about them. We came up with certificates to show appreciation, and then pins were added. We started with me going around and giving veterans their pins and certificates, but I was only there once a week. Since then, the Monument Health Military Veterans Group has taken over and they have done an excellent job.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to volunteer?
Come on over! There are so many ways to help. Whether it’s as a nurse or a wayfinder, we’ve got a place for you and could use your help.