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Finding Her Way

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Alanna, 15, plans to volunteer at Parkview for years

A hospital the size of Parkview Medical Center can seem like a big place with a lot of people to the uninitiated.

It’s not just nurses and doctors that make the place go.

There are dietitians, environmental service workers, facilities and maintenance experts, lab technicians, pharmacists and clerical workers.

“One of the most shocking parts of it is probably seeing how everything works,” said Alanna Burns. “I just had no idea how much went into all of this.”

Alanna, at 15, is also a crucial part of Parkview’s operations, volunteering her afternoons at the hospital.

Alanna Burns Defining MomentShe’s part of a small army of volunteers at Parkview who do everything from delivering newspapers to troubleshooting coffee makers in area lobbies to helping folks find their way to their loved ones.

One recent afternoon, Alanna was working on the coffee machines, pushing a cart though five separate stops on her rounds.

The work mostly involves making sure the things are stocked appropriately. There needs to be cups, lids, sweetener and coffee in the dispenser. It seems like a small job but the details are important and the myriad tasks provided by the volunteers help improve the experience of the patients and visitors at the hospital.

Last year there were roughly 115 volunteers at Parkview Medical Center and they contributed nearly 20,000 hours of work. Ages of volunteers range from 14 to folks in their 90s. In the summer the number of volunteers at Parkview can swell to 160 or more as more teens take advantage of the summer to volunteer here.

Alanna has been volunteering at the hospital since last June, after her parents learned about the opportunities and a potential scholarship that’s available to the teens who volunteer their time here.

But Alanna’s also interested in the health care field, which made the chance to give some of her time to Parkview even better.

“I really want to work in rehab, something like occupational therapy,” she said.

Alanna said she enjoys working the front desk and helping people find where they need to go or connecting people with whom they need to see. She said that can also be difficult when people are angry or upset, but the rewards of volunteering her time outweigh the challenges. She said she plans to continue volunteering for as long as she can.

"The best thing is how nice all of the staff is. Everybody is so friendly and they’re always willing to help,” Alanna said. I plan to continue here through the summer of my senior year.”

For more information about our volunteer services, click here.

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400 West 16th Street, Pueblo, CO 81003