THE HEIGHTS SMI LE Herald
5825 Lande r b rook Dr i ve , Su i t e 124 , May f i e l d He i gh t s , OH 44124
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Taylor’s Amazing, Adorable Volunteer Work
When I’m hiring new staff, I look for people who have a drive to help others. This is an easy and honest way to make sure my patients will always be taken care of. As a result, our office is filled with big-hearted people who are great at their jobs and always looking for ways to give back to our community. One of our dental hygienists, Taylor, has been volunteering at one of Cleveland Clinic’s neonatal intensive care units. The work she’s doing is so cool, so I’ve asked Taylor to share more about it in her own words. –-Jason A. Schermer I’m what they call a “cuddler.” What better volunteer name than that? Being a cuddler means I volunteer in Cleveland Clinic’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and spend time with the babies. There are always a lot of babies in the NICU. They’re usually preemies or need extra medical attention for any number of reasons. Babies in the NICU can stay there for a long time, and unfortunately, most of their parents aren’t able to stay with them 24/7. Parents have work or other children at home they need to take care of. While the hospital provides great medical care, being in the NICU can be hard on newborns. New babies need a lot of one-on-one attention. That’s where cuddlers come in. On Fridays after work, I spend a few hours in the NICU, holding and rocking any babies who are feeling fussy. I love babies,
the nurses focus on the babies who need medicine or food.
After I finished school, I had a lot more free time. I wanted to use that free time to give back. I first heard about this volunteer opportunity through my aunt; she’s been a cuddler for five years. When I was applying for volunteer opportunities, I knew I wanted to work with animals or babies. In the end, I’m so glad I was accepted to be a cuddler! At the end of the week, being able to rock babies is so nice. I get to keep babies calm and comfortable until they’re able to go home. Being a cuddler in the NICU isn’t my first volunteer experience. I try to volunteer with a dental-related foundation at least once a year. I’ve worked with Give Kids a Smile and Team Smile, both organizations that provide dental work to underprivileged kids. Both were such great experiences. Volunteering feels good, and if we have the ability to give back, we should. That’s how we pay it forward and make the world a better place. If you’d like to give back and be a cuddler yourself, many NICUs in the area could use the help. You can visit My.ClevelandClinic.org/about/community/ volunteer to learn more.
need a lot of one-on-one
attention. That’s where cuddlers come in.
so this is really relaxing for me. Plus, being cuddled is good for babies in the NICU, too! Getting that human interaction helps babies grow, is good for their emotional well-being, and can lead to shorter hospital stays. Having cuddlers around also helps
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