Volunteering at hospitals on Long Island was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, the volunteering program is back in full swing. Nicole Fernandes, 19, a student at Stony Brook University who lives in Syosset, tells Newsday, “I felt like I lacked purpose and that I wasn’t doing anything to help anyone. It’s great to be back and feel helpful again.” Nicole has volunteered at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island to explore her love of science, and her passion for volunteering inspired her younger brother, Neil, to follow in her footsteps. Neil is interested in becoming a pharmacist while Nicole is pursuing child psychology.
Other types of volunteers include those who help new patients as they enter the Emergency Department at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, those who work in the Gift Shop, and trained pet therapists, whose furry friends visit staff and patients. Volunteer musicians may also been seen playing their soothing music along hospital hallways.
Hospital officials across Long Island make sure that returning volunteers are protected through the COVID-19 vaccine and other safety measures, such as wearing personal protective equipment.
Hospitals say that there is a “special kind of caring and compassion” that volunteers have.
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