Nurse Who Serves Red Cross: “I’ve Made Some Nice Friendships”

Nancy Walker, who works at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, is one of several nurses at IU Health who volunteers with the American Red Cross. Volunteers are needed to provide both medical and non-medical assistance for Red Cross projects.

She’s applied Band-Aids to blistering feet and sunscreen to overexposed skin. Nancy Walker has volunteered at the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon, 500 Parade, the Indianapolis Indians games, and the Indiana State Fair. She’s one of several IU Health nurses who have staffed first aid stations for the American Red Cross.

But the volunteering isn’t just for nurses and medical staff. As a coordinator for the American Red Cross/IU Health Alliance, Walker is encouraging others to volunteer.

Only 40 percent of the tasks require direct care nurses,” said Walker. “The remaining tasks just need lots of hands on deck to make a big impact throughout Indiana.”

Walker has volunteered since 2016, dedicating about 3,000 hours of assistance. She is on-call two 24-hour days a week. In addition to staffing first aid stations, volunteers are needed to assist with armed services efforts. Volunteers help with travel arrangements for soldiers returning home when a loved one is ill. Volunteers also provide family support when a member of the armed service has been injured.

When a family loses their home to a fire or a natural disaster, volunteers provide support such as housing, clothing and necessities. They also canvas neighborhoods and assist with installing smoke detectors.

“There are so many options to volunteer,” said Walker. “It’s just a great way to get out and connect with the community and I’ve made some nice friendships.”

Interested volunteers can sign up on the Red Cross website and include their IU Health email. 

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email