Eighteen-year-old Sam Kordi has a lot on her plate – as well as tackling her HSC this year, she's just become the youngest volunteer at RNSH.
Caring comes naturally to Sam, who plans to follow in the footsteps of her mum, RNSH nurse Macy Panah.
While Macy, who supervises patient discharges to ensure they have appropriate support when they get home, has had a varied nursing career, Sam has her sights set firmly on working as an Emergency Department (ED) nurse.
As a RNSH volunteer, Sam will join an army of around 550 men and women who give up their time to help patients, visitors, and staff.
"I have a very big interest in helping other people. I have watched the career of my mum and others who help people and I have been very interested in what they do," Sam said.
"When I turned 18 I decided I would volunteer somewhere, and because I want to be a nurse, and my mum works at Royal North Shore, this is a very logical move."
Macy said she was delighted Sam wanted to follow in her footsteps.
Judy Hogan-Wright, acting volunteer co-ordinator for RNS and Ryde, said many volunteers had a connection to the hospitals either as former patients or as relatives, friends or neighbours of staff.
Others signed up because they were studying medicine, or nursing, or allied health, and wanted to gain more experience with patients.
Judy estimated around a third had connections to staff, and urged staff to encourage people with time on their hands to think about volunteering this year.
What makes a good volunteer?
"Passion," Judy said. "You can see it in their eyes. They want to give back to the community."
At Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, volunteer co-ordinator Marie Perkins said: "There are many benefits to volunteering and one is the social aspect that many of our volunteers enjoy.
"Many live alone and don't have loved ones close by, so volunteering at the hospital provides them with company and friendships."
Mona Vale Hospital volunteer co-ordinator Rosalind Mesite echoed her colleagues' sentiments.
"Volunteering is a great way to meet new people make firm friendships while helping people at the same time," she said.
"You receive a sense of satisfaction from helping people and doing something worthy, it gives you a purpose after retirement."
HOW TO VOLUNTEER:
RNS and Ryde, contact Judy on 9462 9936 or [email protected]
HKH, contact Marie on 9477 9459 or email [email protected]
Mona Vale, contact Rosalind Mesite on 9998 6300 or [email protected]