Whether it's your first time volunteering or you're a seasoned volunteer, you have questions, and we have answers.
Questions About Volunteering and COVID-19
Is COVID-19 going to affect our ability to volunteer?
Starting in the Spring 2022 semester, all volunteer shifts are going to be entirely in person at all the different sites we serve at. Virtual volunteering is no longer an option. Onboarding new volunteers is still taking a little longer than usual at hospital sites, so new volunteers may not start immediately in January. If you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to reach out to Connect2Health.Recruitment@health.utah.edu.
How will volunteers serve their shifts during the pandemic?
Currently, we have volunteers serving shifts both remotely and in person. Hospital volunteers are serving their shifts remotely through outreach calls, interacting with patients over the phone to determine what areas we can help them find resources for. Then, using a database of resources created by Connect2Health and the U of U Health IT team, volunteers compile a list of resources to best help each person. Our 4th Street and Primary Children’s teams are now able to work onsite, following the proper COVID-19 protocols to protect both our volunteers and the people we serve.
Do I need to be a certain major to join Connect2Health?
No, Connect2Health tends to attract those in the pre-health and social work fields of study, but is open to everybody from all majors!
Do I need to be a current student at the University of Utah to apply for Connect2Health?
No. Students and graduates from other colleges and universities, as well as non-students, can apply.
What does a typical shift look like for a volunteer?
Shifts vary depending on which site you serve. Generally, volunteers will either be referred patients by clinic staff or through the patients themselves. Using a social needs screener specific to each site, volunteers will go through a series of questions in order to determine what areas that patients may need help with. Using a database of resources created by Connect2Health and the U of U Health IT team, volunteers compile a comprehensive list of resources tailored for each unique patient. These resources can be for food, housing, clothing, transportation, education, and so much more. Volunteers may also be asked to help clinic staff with other tasks during their shift if needed.
Why is this a good opportunity for those going into healthcare?
Connect2Health gives volunteers a chance to obtain patient experience and build relationships with the staff of various clinics. It is also a great opportunity to make a direct impact on our community. In addition, during our bi-monthly meetings we get to hear from various clinicians about their jobs, their experiences, and the future directions of healthcare. In the past, we have heard from burn surgeons, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pediatricians, the diversity director at the U of U PA school, DWS agents, etc.