Education is a pervading theme found throughout Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Continuing education for employees and community professionals, education for patients and families, and residency and fellowship programs all play a role in advancing knowledge.
Even volunteers such as Haley Beatty, who works weekly with occupational therapy/physical therapy, have found ways to make their own learning opportunities too.
With her sights set on a career in occupational therapy, every volunteer shift is a chance to gain valuable insight on how these professionals provide the best possible care for their patients.
“I was always interested in the field,” Beatty explains. “I like making a difference and helping these kids accomplish everyday things many people take for granted is something special.”
Beatty started as a Medical Explorer when she was in high school. This Johns Hopkins All Children’s program allows high school students to learn more about health care careers through monthly meetings with speakers and hands-on activities. It was this experience that brought her back as a volunteer during college. During that time she was at the family desk in peri-op assisting families during the surgery process.
Now out of college and preparing to continue her education, Beatty helps therapists as they prepare for each new patient.
Occupational therapists help patients develop, improve and recover skills needed for daily life. With kids, this is often accomplished through forms of play.
As a volunteer, some days this means ensuring there are clean toys available. Other times Beatty is providing an extra set of hands for the TheraSuit program. This intensive program combines heat and massage with exercise to help the child reach his or her goals. Having a volunteer assist with preparing materials means the therapist can dedicate more time to the patient.
It’s an experience that benefits everyone—kids can receive more dedicated care and Johns Hopkins All Children’s specialists get to share their knowledge with the next generation.
“Seeing the kids smile and progress every week makes everything worth it,” Beatty adds.