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Touching Peoples' Lives
Leila Jones began volunteering because she wanted to be a doctor; but after a few years in the emergency department at Mary Bridge, the nurses changed her mind. She began with Mary Bridge in Child Life in the Spring of 2006, but when she returned from her summer break to resume volunteering she was asked if she would like to be in the emergency department and has been there ever since.
Recently, Leila began the Entry Level Masters of Science in Nursing program at PLU. Along with her schooling, she continues to volunteer and help train new volunteers coming into the emergency department. She has been training volunteers in her unit for the last three years. Leila was also part of the move team for the opening of the new emergency department. She volunteered for a ten hour shift through the night and then stayed to assist with patients from a school gas leak that occurred in the morning. She says it was a memorable experience that was valuable in helping her reorient all of the other volunteers in her unit.
Even more memorable than the move to the new space, was a volunteer shift where she sat with a young girl until her mother arrived. The emergency department was very busy; the girl was confused from the concussion she had sustained in a car accident; and Leila sat with her while she grieved for her father who had died in the same accident. This is what Leila says keeps her volunteering; she touches peoples’ lives.
From helping set up a room, bringing a child a movie, to sitting with a patient who is here without a parent, Leila says she is gaining valuable skills she will use in her nursing career. These skills have been enhanced because of the staff she works with. Leila asked that if we mentioned nothing else, that we mention the people she works with. She said, “They are the most friendly, understanding and encouraging group to work with. They are why I decided to go into nursing. I love it down there!”