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“We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.”
― John Dewey

The Patient Care Advocate Team Volunteer program is offered jointly by the Cayuga Medical Center, Cornell Public Service Center, and Ithaca College's Office of Civic Engagement.  It is a distinguished and unique collaborative program that combines volunteering experience with structured learning and leadership development opportunities for College students. 

Cayuga Medical Center, particularly the Emergency Department and the In-Patient Department have designed to introduce volunteers to the importance of patient comfort and advocacy, and to support the medical staff in providing these measures to patients. The priority of a PCAT volunteer at the hospital is to be a customer service representative of the hospital and to round on the patients regularly.    While gaining hands-on experience at the hospital, College students will have structured opportunities to reflect on their experience,  to develop their leadership skills and philosophies, and to challenge their understanding on the complex social issues surrounding health care policy, practices and so forth. 

Students accepted into the PCAT program will gain:

  • real-world hospital and patient-care experience
  • leadership development training through required monthly meeting
  • career exploration relating to health and medical field

Students accepted to this program are expected to:

volunteer for one 3-hour shift per week in the Emergency Department or in the In-Patient Department
attend monthly leadership development seminars
arrange their own transportation to get to Cayuga Medical Center and seminar locations
submit monthly reflective writing and complete a reflective digital story
maintain professionalism and respect in the work place and seminar discussion

To volunteer in the Cayuga Medical Center, accepted students must have the following before they begin:

  • A physical exam within the previous 12 months
  • Proof of immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella.   This is done by showing documentation of 2 MMR vaccinations or positive titers for each
  • Proof of immunity to Varicella (Chickenpox).  This is done by showing documentation of 2 Varivax vaccinations or a positive titer or by stating a history of Chickenpox Disease
  • Tuberculosis screening. This is done by having 2 PPD skin tests.  Two are recommended by the Center for
  • Disease and Control and Prevention as the most thorough way for screening tuberculosis in a health care setting.   PPD skin tests may be obtained through your Primary Care Provider, College Health Services ( like Cornell Gannett Health Services or Ithaca College Hammond Health Center) or Cayuga Medical Center Employee Health Office
  • Flu Shots

Editing This Sidebar

For more information about the PCAT Program contact Amy Somchanhmavong at the Public Service Center at ayk3@cornell.edu

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