Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 12:00 AM
At 23 years old, Natalie Weaver already has more than 300 hours of volunteering in healthcare settings under her belt.
By Lydia Wherry
She currently volunteers in Marshall Medical Center North’s Emergency Department as she pursues a career in medicine.
Weaver moved to Guntersville in 2016, after graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in neuroscience.
With a goal to attend medical school to become a physician, she is in the process of studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a prerequisite exam for applying to medical school. She plans to apply to several medical schools including ones in Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky.
“I’m very passionate about being somewhere where there is an unmet need, so I would love to be in rural medicine,” Weaver said.
Though she is originally from Chicago, Illinois, her fond memories of spending time in Guntersville in her childhood are what lead her to relocate here.
“My family lives here, and I’ve always come down to Alabama in the summers and vacationed with them; I love it here; I love the south,” Weaver said.
Weaver knew she wanted to become involved with volunteering in the community when she began living in Guntersville.
She began volunteering in MMC North’s emergency department 4 to 5 hours weekly nearly a year ago. During her volunteer hours, Weaver aides with triage, measuring vital signs and taking patients to their rooms.
“Since high school, I’ve always volunteered in [a] hospital nearby. I love volunteering, but I especially love volunteering in a hospital setting. I love working with patients,” she said.
She believes emergency rooms, in general, are great volunteer environments because there are usually several things happening at once that a volunteer can help with, as well as more opportunities for patient interactions
In addition to those reasons, however, it is has been her positive experience working alongside the physicians, nurses, and staff that has stood out to her about why she enjoys volunteering in the MMC North emergency department.
Weaver said, “The people there are just one of the best groups of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone feels like family there. Everyone cares so much about each other and the patients that come in.”
She feels she has learned from them valuable lessons in patience, listening and keeping a positive attitude.
“They have such a passion and a joy for patient care, and that’s something that I really care about.” Weaver said. “I really care about patient care and the quality of patient care being very high, and that’s something that North does extremely well.”