Nursing Assistant finds her home at Nash UNC Health Care

For Adele Sessoms, a Nursing Assistant at Nash UNC Health Care, becoming a nurse has always been her dream, but participating in NashPhoto of Adele Sessoms UNC’s Junior Volunteer Program helped solidify her decision.

Sessoms is pursuing a degree in nursing at Nash Community College while she works on the fifth floor at Nash UNC. For her, this was a logical step after her experience in the Junior Volunteer Program.

“I volunteered in the women’s center for two summers. My favorite part was being able to observe and experience so many different things. I have always wanted to be a nurse and observing the nurses and their job duties confirmed my love for health care,” Sessoms explained.

Nash UNC’s Junior Volunteer Program allows high school students the opportunity to volunteer at the hospital while assisting and shadowing various departments and roles, from front-line clinical positions to behind the scenes office work.

“This program is important on so many levels. For one, being a volunteer helps staff by assisting with their paperwork and other duties. For some of the women’s center nurses, these duties include setting up rooms, prepping the operating room for procedures, and providing care for patients,” Sessoms said.

And while Sessoms received affirmation to follow her dreams while volunteering in the program, she also made a big impact on others during her time in the Nash Women’s Center.

 “Adele showed great initiative in learning and observing all that she could during each shift.  She was eager to help in any way she could.  She made charts, baby beds, med bags, and many other things that helped to make the unit run smoother,” said Tess Powell, a labor and delivery nurse in the Nash Women’s Center.  

Powell is excited that Sessoms chose Nash UNC to start her career, and feels she will be a great nurse one day.  

“I feel confident that Adele will be an asset to Nash UNC. On the July 4 holiday during her summer volunteer shifts, we cared for a patient in a particularly vulnerable situation. The patient reached out to the nursing unit to say thank you and she specifically mentioned Adele and sent a gift for her. That is a true testimony to the impact she made as a volunteer and I believe it is also a glimpse of the nurse she will become,” Powell said.

But if you ask Adele about her early nursing career success, she gives a lot of credit to the Junior Volunteer Program and Nash UNC as a whole.

“I feel very strongly that this program prepared me for my future career, as it gave me a real life look into my future as a nurse. After being a part of this program, I chose to work at Nash UNC because of the way they care about their patients and staff members,” Sessoms explained.

Sessoms encourages other high school students and medical professionals to consider Nash UNC when looking for a volunteer or job opportunity.

“I would specifically recommend Nash UNC for many reasons, such as the way they care for their staff and the amount of care and compassion that they show their patients,” she stated.

While the Junior Volunteer Program was put on pause over the last two years due to the COVID pandemic, the current plan is to bring the program back this summer.

“The Nash UNC Health Care Foundation and Volunteer Services department is excited for the return of Junior Volunteers this summer,” said Sara Worth Hodges, Nash UNC Health Care Foundation development and volunteer coordinator. “Junior Volunteers play a vital role at Nash UNC, not only by assisting with our patient experience, but also by helping our staff and physicians. This is an opportunity for high school students to learn about different areas in the hospital and really see what fields they are interested in for future jobs.”

Hodges encouraged those who might be interested in this year's program to submit an application for consideration.

“Visit our website for additional details or to apply for the program. We are accepting applications until April 15 and students who are selected for the program will be contacted during the first week of May. We are so excited to welcome back our Junior Volunteers to Nash UNC this year.”