24 high school students representing 13 schools from around the metro completed The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital’s VOLUME (Volunteer. Observe. Learn. Unify. Mentor. Explore.) Summer Program. The annual summer program gives teenagers a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the medical field in a hospital setting.
In a graduation ceremony held at the Hospital, high school students shared their experiences and insights in group presentations for hospital staff and family members. The eight week program focused on providing teenagers with insight into the medical, rehabilitative and educational services offered at the Hospital, while allowing an opportunity to work directly with the Hospital’s pediatric patients.
Hannah George will be a sophomore at Yukon High School this year. She decided to apply for the VOLUME summer program because she hopes to either become a physical therapist or a pediatrician. “I really enjoy working with children and being in the medical field. I felt like VOLUME was a great opportunity to learn about various medical professions and work directly with pediatric patients.”
“Teenagers accepted into the program had the opportunity to learn about nursing, medicine, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music therapy, speech-language pathology, child life, counseling, social work, dietetics and hospital administration,” explained Amy Coldren, Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. “They also had the opportunity to work directly with patients inside the special education classrooms and at bedside.”
Kaley Baste will be a senior this year at Southwest Covenant. Her favorite part of VOLUME was assisting in the special education classrooms. “I really enjoyed the one-on-one and hands-on experiences we got with both the patients and the doctors at the Hospital. It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of what The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital is all about.”
Coldren said exposing the teens to careers they might not have known about, like child life, occupational therapy or neuropsychology, was a great benefit. “We had participants that were able to shift or fine-tune their career interests. We had others whose interest didn’t change, but they’re now more excited about their chosen field. These students came out of this program with a lot more knowledge and experience that will hopefully equip them in their future careers.”
The VOLUME Summer Program was held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Each session included character and team building activities, assisting inside special education classrooms and inside hospital units, and listening to speakers who provided insight on their specialties. The program also offered the opportunity for participants to shadow a professional of their choice for a day.