Our Young Volunteers Are Making a Big Impact
Volunteers are an integral part of Bayhealth. Our volunteers assist in all facets of the hospital, from greeting guests at the front doors to making blankets for newborn babies. While Bayhealth has hundreds of adult volunteers who donate their time year-round, we also have a special group of student volunteers who join us for the summer months to get hands-on experience while volunteering at Bayhealth.
While student volunteers typically donate a few hours each week, several volunteers from the last cohort went above and beyond, giving more than 100 hours during the summer months.
Akuti Kethri is a senior at Caravel Academy in New Castle County. She volunteered three days each week in Day Surgery, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Kethri wants to be a neurosurgeon, and especially enjoyed her time in the Neuro ICU interacting with staff and patients.
“When I was in the Neuro ICU, the nurses made sure I had a hands-on experience. It was an education unlike anything I’ve experienced,” said Kethri.
“Even interacting with the patients was wonderful. They became my cheerleaders and encouraged me to continue on this journey. It solidified that I want to go into neurosurgery.”
Hunter Gondeck is a junior at Polytech High School. He volunteered two to three days each week in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) and the PACU. Gondeck also wants to pursue a career in healthcare.
“Interacting with the patients is everything. The nurses are always taking care of patients, and always ready for everything,” said Gondeck. “After this experience, I know for certain I want to be an emergency department nurse, and I can’t wait to come back this summer so I can get more hands-on experience through this program.”
In additional to employees, both Kethri and Gondeck said the other volunteers were immensely helpful.
“The hospital volunteers are so great,” said Gondeck. “You become part of their family, and they truly looked out for us. Everyone just wanted to make sure we had a great experience. I hope I’m able to eventually work here and be part of this community.”
Volunteer Services Manager Carrie Hart says the program is a success thanks to the dedicated students who come to Bayhealth.
“While every year we have great student volunteers, this past summer was unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Hart. “In all, four different student volunteers donated more than 100 hours each. That commitment is amazing to see.”
Overall, both student volunteers say they would enthusiastically suggest this program to any classmates or peers. Gondeck already plans on returning this summer, and Kethri is hoping to do the same depending on where she lands up for college.
“For anyone in high school considering this program, my advice is to do it,” said Kethri. “The summer I spent here was so worthwhile. I learned so much about working in a hospital and what patient care is. This program is unlike anything else I could have experienced.”
Visit Bayhealth.org/Volunteer to learn more about student and other volunteer opportunities available at Bayhealth.