Altruism in Practice: The Power of Volunteerism within POCUS Certification Academy

As we head into National Volunteer Month, current PCA intern Shelby Jones, a senior studying public health at George Mason University, shares her thoughts on volunteering, its value for those of us at PCA as well as the value to volunteers themselves.

By Shelby Jones

Shelby is a senior at George Mason University studying public health. She is a current intern with POCUS Certification academy working within the Outreach sector.


Volunteerism is an important part of fostering unity amongst people and it’s the highest demonstration of the altruistic spirit towards community welfare. Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy volunteers hold a special place within the organization, taking time to leverage their skill sets to assist with many programs and initiatives. This Volunteer Appreciation Month, I would like to reflect on the power of volunteering and how volunteers shape the POCUS Certification Academy (PCA) mission.

The Power of Volunteering:

At its core, volunteerism embodies the essence of empathy and collective responsibility. It transcends personal gains, fostering a sense of purpose in contributing to societal betterment. Volunteer initiatives in the community can span a variety of domains, ranging from education and healthcare to operational support. Through volunteerism, individuals bridge the gap, nurturing inclusivity, and empowerment within communities.

One of the most profound aspects of volunteerism lies in its ability to empower both the giver and the receiver. While volunteers offer their time, skills, and resources to support causes they are passionate about, they also experience personal growth, fulfillment, and a deep sense of connection to the broader community. Engaging in volunteer activities cultivates empathy, compassion, and perspective on the world, fostering a sense of interconnectedness that transcends individual differences.

PCA Volunteer Program:

PCA volunteer programs epitomize the convergence of medical expertise and altruism. Volunteers work across multiple departments and sectors, including Assessment, Education, Governance, and Community. Our database of over 500 volunteers supports PCA by working to author cases, review items, contribute to media, give webinars, sit on the council, represent the PCA community, and so much more. Whatever strengths individuals have, they can be sure that there is a place for them to volunteer and grow with the organization. Volunteer positions are flexible to fit even the busiest of schedules. Volunteer initiatives supporting POCUS certification allow us to grow and expand the work that we do to be able to produce the highest quality resources for our clients.

During my internship, I had the privilege of participating in a PCA volunteer program aimed at outreach. The experience was transformative, amplifying my understanding of healthcare non-profit organizations and the pivotal role of volunteerism in supporting them. Collaborating with professionals across multiple fields, I was able to witness firsthand the impact of PCA in the field of POCUS and the amazing work that they do. As an intern volunteer, I am proud to be able to produce deliverables that add value to the organization. Participating in the POCUS volunteer program enriched my internship experience in many ways. It broadened my communication skills and instilled a profound sense of fulfillment.

Volunteerism, modeled by initiatives such as the PCA volunteer programs, embodies the transformative potential of collective action. Through volunteer engagements, individuals transcend from mere spectators of societal challenges to assuming active roles in shaping a more equitable world. My internship experience within a POCUS volunteer program reaffirmed the profound impact of volunteerism on both beneficiaries and volunteers alike.


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