Texas County Memorial Hospital will open the application process Wednesday for area youth to join the annual Youth Ambassador program. They are area high school juniors and seniors and area college students who volunteer their time at TCMH.
Youth Ambassadors have volunteered more than 3,200 hours at the hospital since the program began in December 2009.
“The Youth Ambassador program has been an excellent way for some of our area young people to get a taste for working in a healthcare environment and to provide a valuable service to the hospital,” said April Steele, Youth Ambassador coordinator at TCMH.
The Youth Ambassador program at TCMH was created as an extension of the hospital’s traditional Auxiliary program. Members are chosen from a formal application process. They are required to go through an orientation and must commit to volunteering at TCMH for four hours each month. The program includes three levels of volunteer achievement, and the three levels can be achieved based on volunteer hours and work ethic.
Since its inception, many Youth Ambassadors have reached the various levels of achievement in the volunteer program. Several former Youth Ambassadors now have jobs working in the hospital departments. Youth Ambassadors have also received educational scholarships from TCMH.
Volunteer duties include passing out fresh linens and filling ice water cups for patients on the medical surgical floors, rocking newborns and greeting visitors in the obstetrics department, and reading to and talking with patients in the hospital’s swing bed program.
With the new construction, Youth Ambassadors have played an active role in greeting patients and visitors at the new front entrance and helping them find their way in the hospital.
“Over 100 students have been a part of the Youth Ambassador program, and it continues to grow each year,” Steele said.
Steele explained that the program has achieved its goal of providing area students with hands on experience and a much greater knowledge and appreciation for what goes on behind the doors of their community hospital.
“There’s a lot more going on in hospitals than just people working as doctors and nurses,” Steele said. “Some of our current Youth Ambassadors will be able to continue to volunteer at the hospital in the upcoming year. We hope to add to our ranks by opening up the program to new applicants and open up the world of the hospital to more students in our area.”
Additional information about the TCMH Youth Ambassadors and the application for the program is available from Steele or area guidance counselors. The application deadline is Sept. 10. Steele can also be reached by calling 417-967-1236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.