Most people look forward to the weekend…time to play, relax with friends and family and perhaps kick the dog around the front porch. (Don’t call animal control…it was a joke!) But not me...I look forward to Wednesday and Thursday because those are the days I volunteer at Doctors Care. I discovered Doctors Care a few months after my husband and I moved to the area. I didn't know anyone here except my son’s family, and I wanted to get involved in something meaningful. In California I had been very involved with the Rotary Club, serving in many different capacities over the years. While I enjoyed it, believing in their mission and supporting them financially, continuing with Rotary wasn’t what I had in mind for Colorado. I initially put in my application at Littleton Adventist Hospital, and when I heard back from them they said all the volunteer positions were filled and suggested I research Doctors Care. I did, and I was impressed, so here I am.
This is a phenomenal organization, and I am proud to be a part of it. I volunteered a couple of days as the receptionist (not my cup of tea), then I moved on to work at building a spreadsheet for Behavioral Health Team (BHT), or what I prefer to call, "The Feel Good Department". Why do I call it that? Because I feel good working there, and of course their goal is to help our patients feel good as well. The spreadsheet started out with about two pages of stats and has grown to roughly 50,000 pages. Okay, I exaggerate...but not much! Soon I will be out of a job as all this information has now become accessible through the electronic medical records program. Hooray!! Thank you, IT guys! However, I am not leaving BHT, but will be doing other tasks, small and large, known and unknown, real and not yet in existence. I love it! Well, that is Thursday.
On Wednesdays another part of my brain gets challenged, as I have "learned" to become a financial intake counselor for the Sliding-Fee-Scale Program. This is interesting, fun and challenging. Sometimes there is new information for me to learn, and other times the cases are so complicated they require more than one brain to sort through. I love talking with people and learning small things about them while we complete the intake process. These people do not know me yet they must open up, discuss finances and their medical conditions and most likely feel very vulnerable. Therefore, my goal is to always make them feel welcome and at ease. I know that the patient before me will greatly benefit from the Sliding-Fee-Scale Program if they qualify, and I try to help them do just that. I have seen patients cry when handed their card, and thank me profusely – as if I had any influence at all in this decision. What can I say to that?
When I started looking for volunteer work I wanted an experience where I would be very involved, more hands on, or at least not more than one arm’s length away from those in need. I wanted something more personal, and that need and desire has been met at Doctors Care.
Thanks to all of you who have smiled, answered my silly questions, sent me in the right direction, offered me challenges, cleaned up my computer messes, supplied me with chocolate or a good laugh and offered your friendships. You truly are amazing people!
Blog post contributed by volunteer Donna Berti.