Volunteer nursing duties are much like paid nursing duties. You can count on visiting with patients, doing clerical work and performing basic medical treatments. At the Missouri Baptist Medical Center, volunteer nurses:
- Assist with patient hygiene
- Feed patients
- Provide direct patient care
- Provide one-on-one observation
- Perform technical functions (such as checking vital signs or changing dressings)
- Assist with admissions, discharges or transfers
- Perform clerical duties
Volunteers are just as important at small clinics as they are at large hospitals. At the Beach Health Clinic in Virginia Beach, volunteer nurses provide care to the working poor and the uninsured.
You'll find a wide variety of duties if you choose to volunteer abroad. As a volunteer nurse with Doctors Without Borders in 2006, Gabriela Adao worked with Liberian tuberculosis patients to ensure they were recovering and taking their medications. That same year, midwife Lisa Errol also volunteered with Doctors Without Borders in Liberia. She worked with malnourished children, helped treat diseases and provided vaccinations [Doctors Without Borders].
Obviously, not just anyone can volunteer to be a nurse. Different organizations have different requirements, however. On the next page we'll talk about how to find out if you qualify.