Volunteering at Mayo Clinic: The Unseen Benefits

Today we have about 435 volunteers on campus every week. They perform a myriad of different things for our patients and staff. They work at our information desk, greeting patients when they arrive and helping them with way finding. They transport patients from one point to another. They work in surgical services. They're in radiology rooming patients and dermatology and cardiopulmonary. They're in physical therapy They're in the Cancer Center.

I get patients from the waiting room, bring them in, get their height, their weight, take their temperatures.

I transport them to the front so that they are able to get home safely, they're cared for, and I make sure they have all the things they need.

My age is 93, go in 94. And I've worked as a volunteer in just about every department that exists.

Our volunteers' biggest mission every day is to make somebody smile. Some of them give hugs. Some of them pay attention to if you look lost and help you. Some people pass out candy.

I've been volunteering here ten years now. I clocked in about 9,000 hours. I just love meeting the people, helping the people, usually a piece of candy will make them smile.

The patients that I'm seeing are having chemotherapy and my part is just to try to help them relax and just get away from it for a while. It makes your spirit, makes your heart feel good. And I just hope that what I do can generate that to them just by the touch.

I think Mayo has a kind touch to it. Just little things will make a patient so happy, giving them a blanket, bringing them something to drink, having something to do in the waiting room, while they're waiting. People will turn to me and say, "Oh my God, you're my Angel today."

Because of their backgrounds, they're so broad, they bring many skills to Mayo Clinic.

My background is in engineering and I saw a need that we could actually improve the process of ordering our linen. It not only helps the whole simulation center when I'm not here, but also it helps me because I can be more productive.

I've been in optics since I was 16. I've been in the business 32 years. As a volunteer, as soon as I came into ophthalmology, I was part of the team.

One of the great things about working with Mayo is they really do emphasize everybody is important.

And I don't think that we can underestimate the fact that the volunteers are here to take care of the patients, but the volunteers are also here to take care of the staff.

Mayo does such a good job of doing staff events, but a lot of their staff are in really stressful situations all day long and the dogs really help. The Caring Canine program is amazing. I feel like it's beneficial to everyone involved. From the beginning of my time volunteering here I would see the same young woman coming in every Wednesday for chemotherapy. And I didn't see her for a couple of months. And then I saw her again recently and she's healthy. And she brought a blanket that her mother made for Mac and it was so amazing. We get to see the good that's being done here.

When I was here and my husband was getting treatment, a nurse came over and sat with me and she held my hand and just talked me through the next steps. When I came back to Mayo as a volunteer, that was my goal was to give that same special touch. And I try to do that here when I'm volunteering.

You know, I don't know who I'm going to see from one room to the other, but they are not strangers. That's what volunteering does. It's a connection that I think the world should have.

Be kind to one another. Serve one another. Make somebody smile.

Good morning. Welcome to Mayo. How may I help you?

Photo of Mayo Clinic volunteer laughing

Those who consider Mayo Clinic for volunteer work are attracted to our healing mission and our commitment to the needs of patients and their families. Our volunteers are dedicated to helping others. They assist staff, patients and families throughout the health continuum, offering another set of ears, eyes and helpful hands in tender, loving service.

If you're interested in volunteering or if you'd like more information, contact:

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