Monday, October 25, 2010


I signed up to be a volunteer at Gillette Children's Lifetime clinic a while ago. It's not the same as the hospital (Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare) but it's where people go when they grow out of pediatrics but still want to continue with Gillette. I became a volunteer to help work with patients in occupational therapy using the speech recognition software Dragon NaturallySpeaking. They actually made a position for me because there wasn't one for that specific of a job.

I've been using Dragon for over seven years, so I know pretty much everything there is to know about it. The whole idea started when I was at an OT appointment at the clinic. I was telling them that I used Dragon with my computer and that I used to help train other people at a previous summer job working with the school district. They thought that was neat and told me that they have some patients who struggle with it. That's when they decided to make a position for me to volunteer.

I went through all the process to become a volunteer; filled out all the paperwork, went into the doctor and got a Manto test (for tuberculosis), received an ID badge with my picture on it. The funny thing is they haven't called me to work with anybody volunteering and it's been almost 2 months since I became a volunteer there. I've called them and left messages but they haven't called me back. When I talked to the volunteer coordinator she said they have to set an appointment up with a patient first. I suppose it makes sense but you would think they would've tried to get in touch with me somehow before hand.

I've been a volunteer before at the hospital. I worked with kids in outpatient and in the waiting room doing arts and crafts. It was fun, but a little challenging since I had to have my nurse show the kids how to do everything. I did get to interact with them which was fun. That was just for one summer back in 2007.

Definitely I should try to call again to see what's going on because I'm really excited to volunteer; especially since I haven't really been going many places due to my wheelchair situation. Hopefully soon.



Anonymous said...

Volunteerism in America is one of the things that separate us from so many other countries. Good job. Hang in there. I'm sure when the right situation arrives that they will be calling you.

Lisa said...

That's cool you are doing that. I'm still learning a lot of things on Dragon and trying to keep all the commands straight in my head. But it's still an awesome program and I'd be lost without it.

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Give them a call again! I work at Gillette in Minnetonka if you need someone to help get the process moving, let me know :)