The ARHP is seeking leaders to help shape the future of the ARHP by volunteering to serve on an ARHP committee in 2012. The benefits of volunteering in general are numerous.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2011
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Volunteering can increase perceived self-efficacy, self-esteem, and positive affect, which all can result in enhanced psychological health.1 Volunteering leads to the opportunity for social interaction or networking many times with individuals with whom you normally would not interact.1 A 2009 article found that 20% of the volunteers in their study stated that their health had improved since volunteering and that nearly 30% stated that their lives in general were improved in relation to their volunteering.2 The association between volunteering and greater health and happiness is a definite plus to volunteering in a professional organization such as the ARHP.
ARHP Volunteer and Merit Award Nominations Open
Merit Award Nominations
The ARHP is now accepting nominations for its merit awards, including its new Master Educator Award.
Shape the Future of the ARHP: Volunteer
The ARHP is seeking leaders to help shape the future of the ARHP by volunteering to serve on the ARHP committee.
When asked what she liked most about volunteering for the ARHP, Lisa Shelton, BSc, BSN, RN, says, “You are able to meet people from different areas of the country and different disciplines and learn how we all fit into taking care of the rheumatic disease patient. It is neat to hear their perspective.” Mary Wright, BS, OT, agrees: “It is great to meet people that know a lot about arthritis and who know a lot of other people. It makes you feel like a part of the big picture.”
Volunteering can lead to mentoring relationships that help the mentee enhance leadership skills and gain self-confidence and independence in new interpersonal and effective communication skills. When asked about how volunteering has affected his life, Ben Smith, PA-C, states, “Volunteering with the ARHP has helped me develop leadership and communication skills that have helped me with my other volunteer opportunities.”
Taking on a leadership role in a national professional organization creates an environment to develop leadership skills and then use them. Effective leaders are knowledgeable in their area of expertise, willing to share knowledge, willing to collaborate with others, have conviction of beliefs, are goal oriented, possess excellent communication skills, are lifelong learners, take responsibility for their actions, have a good attitude, have the ability to make hard choices, take advantage of teachable moments, appear credible, see challenges not problems, act as a mentor, recognize the strengths of others, and recognize their own strengths and weaknesses.5
Volunteering and becoming a leader in a national professional organization can lead to personal and professional growth. Kori Dewing, ARNP, recommends volunteering for ARHP. She has found that volunteering has helped her be a better advocate for her patients by meeting other members who share similar experiences. “It is a rewarding experience and a path that I am pleased to be taking with ARHP,” Dewing says.
The mission of the ARHP cannot be achieved without the time, effort, talent, and experience of its volunteer leadership and committee members. If you want to join the fun, visit www.rheumatology.org to learn about volunteer opportunities. I guarantee you will not regret it.
Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, is past-president of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals and a clinical research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Contact her at [email protected].
- Kim J, Pai M. Volunteering and trajectories of depression. J Aging Health. 2010;22:84-105.
- Morrow-Howell N, Hong SI, Tang F. Who benefits from volunteering? Variations in perceived benefits. Gerontologist. 2009;49:91-102.
- Musick MA, Herzog AR, House JS. Volunteering and mortality among older adults: Findings from a national sample. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1999;54:S173-S180.
- McCloughen A, O’Brien L, Jackson D. Esteemed connection: Creating a mentoring relationship for nurse leadership. Nurs Inq. 2009;16:326-336.
- Sims JM. Styles and qualities of effective leaders. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2009;28:272-274.