American Red Cross Chapter Nurse
The American Red Cross (ARC) is a charitable humanitarian organization that provides compassionate care in five service lines: disaster relief, blood services, health and safety education and training, services to the armed forces, and international services. The disaster relief services responds to approximately 70,000 disasters yearly in the United States (American Red Cross, 2013a). The ARC responds to approximately 190 house fires per day in the US, which is the most frequent disaster response in the US (American Red Cross, 2013b). In the San Luis Valley (SLV) services to the armed forces is in the early stages of development; however, the ARC assists to military members and veterans, including the family members. Approximately 150,000 military families and veterans receive assistance from the ARC annually (American Red Cross, 2013e). Health and safety courses offered by the ARC include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, emergency preparedness, babysitting training, and many more. International services provide large-scale disaster relief services overseas as a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. In addition to disaster relief overseas, the ARC provides assistance to reconnect families separated by war or disaster and is a leader in the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
Becoming a volunteer
I began to prepare for the Service Learning class in April by contacting my preceptor, Bill Werner, SLV Disaster Coordinator, regarding the possibility of becoming an ARC nurse volunteer. Bill and I met in June and rekindled the volunteer nurse discussion and I verbally agreed to become a volunteer. In July, I attended an American Red Cross (ARC) Disaster Action Team (DAT) orientation, which is required for all volunteers; registered as a volunteer on the ARC volunteer website; and submitted information for a background check. The application and background check received approval for becoming a volunteer in late August. I finally became a Red Cross nurse, something that I have wished to do for several years, but never pursued until this time.
For my agency project, my preceptor suggested a fund raising project for the Measles and Rubella Initiative (MRI). This initiative is a partnership between the ARC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and World Health Foundation that vaccinates children in developing countries against measles and rubella for the approximate cost of one dollar. This is a very cost effective means for preventing the spread of measles and reducing the morbidity and mortality rates related to this disease. Although rubella is a relatively mild communicable disease, it does have devastating effects on the unborn children whose mothers contract the disease in the first trimester of pregnancy.
My preceptor desired that all of the schools in the San Luis Valley participate...