Almost immediately after Sharon retired from her role as a microbiologist and lab supervisor at the Rapid City Hospital Lab, she missed the hospital environment. Returning as a volunteer, she’s making trips to the hospital a bit more inviting for anyone who comes through the door.
Why do you volunteer?
I worked for 24 years as a microbiologist in the lab at what was then Rapid City Regional Hospital. Retiring in 2013, I almost immediately missed the hospital environment. My grandson was born early in 2017 and spent six weeks in the NICU. The daily visits to see him helped me realize that this is where I wanted to be again. There are so many very special people that work at Monument Health and I have been honored to be a part of that for so many years. I missed the caring environment and am very happy to be immersed in it again.
What have you done as a volunteer?
Patients and visitors arrive at the hospital under various circumstances — most are experiencing some degree of vulnerability or distress. It’s our job as volunteers to make sure they get to the right location, but more than that, to help ease feelings of anxiety or tension. It is so rewarding that presenting a friendly face and offering kind words can help make their day and their visit a little easier.
Why would you recommend volunteering to others?
Monument Health is a very special place. It is not the facility that makes it special, but the people that truly care so much for their patients. I would encourage people to volunteer, to not only strengthen their ties to the community, but to gain opportunity for human connection. It’s as simple as that. I encourage anyone with an interest in serving the public to consider being a volunteer in the Monument Health system.
Sharon enjoys seeing changes to Rapid City Hospital. “Our new lobby and entrance is incredibly beautiful and it is a pleasure to show it off,” she says of the Fifth Street Entrance.