Lakes Regional Healthcare Gearing Up For Its Summer Junior Volunteer Program

Mon 4-5-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- Lakes Regional Healthcare is gearing up once again for its annual Summer Junior Volunteer Program. Jennifer Gustafson, LRH Vice President of Marketing and Retail Services, says they are now taking applications for this summer's program, which will run from June 7th through July 30th...LRH Junior Volunteer Pgm01 

"When they apply to the program they can apply to volunteer in our Emergency Department as an ER Junior volunteer; in our Surgery Department; our Inpatient Departments which are like medical-surgical and and the Birth Center and CCU, or in our Lakes Regional Family Medicine Clinic. Whatever area or areas they choose to volunteer they have to volunteer for one shift a week at least, and each shift is four hours long, and they do that for the eight weeks. Every week also we have an educational program that they can choose to attend if they want to where they learn from a physician or a nurse things like how to stitch, how to gown and glove, how to give an injection, things like that. So the program basically is where they are working within the department, actually working with patients, helping out the nurses and the doctors, you know, in whatever ways they can without having any special type of education."

Gustafson says high school sophomores, juniors, seniors or college students at least 16 years of age by June 1st will be considered for the program...LRH Junior Volunteer Pgm02 

"Any volunteer, any Junior Volunteer who has been a volunteer in the past can volunteer again. They're kind of automatically in. So at this point I think we already have six Junior Volunteers from last year that have reached out to me saying that they want to volunteer again. But basically they apply and that application then includes also a reference letter from their school's guidance counselor or a teacher or professor or advisor in college or in high school and then we basically interview with them so the people who are in charge of the ER or the Surgery Department and I, we all interview them and basically select people. Because we have a limited number of Junior Volunteers that we can accept for each area and so unfortunately sometimes we have to make some hard decisions but we try to be fair and in everybody's best interest, so."

Gustafson adds COVID-19 is not deterring the hospital from hosting the Junior Volunteer Program...LRH Junior Volunteer Pgm03 

"They're like everybody else who works here, and they go through our protocols. They wear the proper PPE, and this year they can also opt to get the vaccine if they would choose to do that. We thought we might as well have it because these are people who are most likely are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare and when you are in healthcare you need to take care of patients, we need to go on, pandemic or no pandemic."

An application and parental consent form can be found at and must be submitted by May 14th.