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Following his dream: Snoqualmie Valley Hospital volunteer Volkman Gaussman pursues career with service
Volunteers play a vital role at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, contributing more than 200 hours each month of service.
Volkmar Gaussmann began volunteering for Snoqualmie Valley Hospital last January, fulfilling his requirement as a pre- med student with Bellevue College to increase his experience in the medical field. He plans to become a pediatric hospitalist.
“Every pre-med student has to volunteer at a hospital to show their interest in medicine,” Gaussmann said. “I chose Snoqualmie Valley Hospital because I couldn’t see myself in a larger hospital where I might not have as many opportunities to help out.”
Volunteers serve the hospital in many capacities: they provide clerical and office support, assist with community events and special projects, assist with patient activities and serve as advocates for the hospital and for patients and their families.
Volkmar volunteers here about three hours per week, helping out in a variety of ways. Some of his projects include filing, consolidating medical records, assisting with individual staff projects and helping keep track of volunteer hours.
“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve helped with at SVH and everyone I have worked with,” Gaussmann said. “It’s been good to learn what else goes on in a hospital setting besides patient care.”
Medicine hasn’t always been a dream for Volkmar. In 2004, he and his wife learned that their 14-month-old son had kidney cancer. They spent countless hours at Seattle Children’s Hospital watching their son endure various tests and surgery. It was during this time that Volkmar realized medicine was the right path for him.
“At the time, I remember thinking how sad I was that I would never get to know him – what he likes, what sports he wants to play and what he wants to be when he grows up,” Volkmar said. “Now, he’s 9 years old, healthy and plans to be an architect.”
Volkmar was recently accepted into the medical program at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
“I want to be able to help other children the way the doctors and staff helped my son,” he said. “I’m just happy I can live my dream. Who wouldn’t want to do this?”
If you would like to learn more about the volunteer program, e-mail to Shawn Boynton, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-831-2300 ext. 145. Visit www.SVHD4.org for more information.