Teen Explores Career Option Through Volunteering

Shaniqua Davis is more certain that she'd like to attend college and study to be a neo-natal nurse as the result of serving as a 4-H teen volunteer in the OB/Pediatrics unit at Ingham Regional Medical Center.

Volume 17, Number 1, Fall 2006

As a 4-H teen volunteering in the OB/Pediatrics unit at Ingham Regional Medical Center, Shaniqua Davis has seen newborn babies get circumcised and have their hearing checked by health care professionals. Volunteering at the hospital makes her more certain that she’d like to attend college and study to be a neo-natal nurse.

"I enjoy volunteering here a lot," she says. "My favorite part of volunteering here is holding and comforting the babies."

Shaniqua volunteers at the hospital under a 4-H-AmeriCorps VISTA career exploration program with Ingham Regional Medical Center where teens are mentored by adult hospital staff, and the teens volunteer to explore a career they are interested in.

Shelley Frazier, Ingham Regional Medical Center’s teen volunteer coordinator and AmeriCorps member through MSU Extension, matched Shaniqua’s career interest with the staff at the hospital.

"The nurses really enjoy Shaniqua," Frazier says. "She’s very responsible and does a really great job helping them."

Since June 2006, Shaniqua has volunteered at the hospital where she job shadows the staff, helps to comfort babies, does clerical work, delivers specimens to the lab and performs other tasks that the staff may request help with.

"Volunteering at the hospital has helped me to understand and appreciate the work that nurses do," says Shaniqua. "It makes me want to do it even more."

Says Frazier, "The volunteer experience is hands-on, and it really helps teens get the work experience they need to see if this is something they really want to get into. It’s important to get kids interested in health careers, and maybe they’ll come back to work here someday."

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