Friday, September 02, 2005
I Got The CallSome of you may have deduced that I am an American Red Cross volunteer by the small badge on my sidebar.
When I first started nursing school, I joined up. Fueled by the beautiful artwork and compelling words of vintage ARC nursing recruitment posters, I decided that if I was going to be a nurse, I wanted to be a part of that historical organization also. Just the idea of being able to proudly say "I'm a Red Cross Nurse" was a great goal for me. Maybe I wouldn't get a cape and white hat, but I still wanted in.
Not more than 24 hours after I learned I had passed the NCLEX, I was able to participate in a large disaster drill at our airport as an official member of the Health Care team. I had been attending team meetings as a nursing student and waiting until the day I could join them in supporting our community Disaster Response Team. I also took as many of the DRT classes as I could - Mass Care, Family Emergency Services, Damage Assesment - I knew that people from our chapter went to Sri Lanka and wished I could have been experienced enough to join them.
Yesterday I got an email asking for more volunteers to go to the gulf coast for 2-3 weeks. They say they'll be there until at least the end of November, so I'll finish up with my residency and see if I can get down there sometime at the end of October. Although most of the healthcare-related function that I may have had (helping out in a shelter) will be over by then, there will still be a need to check out every home that was damaged in any way and assist those people in getting their lives back together. I've spoken to my manager about it and she agrees that I should go.
Because I will be home for another month or so, I'm probably going to be spending some of my days off over at the ARC office helping with phone calls, donations, and people who are trying to get in touch with their loved ones. I'll also serve at local disasters in our (huge, well-populated) city filling in for the many disaster volunteers headed out.
If you are able to help out your local chapter of the American Red Cross, please do. Money is great, but a set of helping hands is priceless. I'm sure all of the chapters are running extra classes in whatever you'd like to volunteer at. Even if you can't leave your home to work in the disaster area, you could help fill in in your hometown for those who have.
I was told that they even need volunteers at my chapter to help sign up all of the new volunteers that are coming in! If you are a nurse you have a very special skill that can be used if shelters are set up in your area for any reason - a skill that these new volunteers are not going to have.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 9:54 PM