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Student Spotlight-Aubrey Austin

UTK CFS Community Outreach Practicum

Aubrey Austin
Meet Aubrey at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital- Volunteer Services

“I chose my placement because I am going to nurse practitioner school next fall specializing in women and children. Because of this, I wanted to be in a hospital setting for my practicum to gain more nursing experience. Volunteer Services was particularly interesting to me because I was told that you are able to do something different every day. One day you get to cuddle babies and the next you are helping with a fundraising event. Every day is different and I love that about a hospital placement for a CFS practicum.

My biggest accomplishment at ETCH was definitely becoming comfortable with the families in a clinical setting. There is a range of illnesses in a hospital and sometimes it can be intimidating to walk into a room having no idea what to expect. From this practicum, I have become very secure with talking to patients and their families. I feel that effective communication is important in the working world and this is a trait that I will value going forward in my career.

The most exciting event thus far was my experience with patient pal. Patient pal allows volunteers to assist with patient families that need to step out of the room, but still want someone to be in the room with their child. I highly value the ability to go into a room, meet new families, and interact with patients. The patients range from babies to teenagers. I never know what kind of patient I am going to be assisting, but it has always been a fun experience.

The staff in volunteer services is excellent. They are great people to work with and very positive role models. Overall this is a practicum that is highly rewarding and an encouraging work environment. ”

If you have any questions for Aubrey, you may send an email to me at