MAPS FAQ’s

MAPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center



I really want to join! How do I get started? What do I need to do?

Hi! We are very excited to have you in our program and are looking forward to working with you. To get started, please read our MAPS Welcome Letter and follow Step 1 at this link here: https://uclamaps.wordpress.com/apply/

Do I need to be a UCLA student in order to volunteer for MAPS?

No. Our program is host to volunteers from all over the greater Los Angeles area. While most of our volunteers are UCLA undergraduate students, we also have many volunteers from Loyola Marymount University, as well as USC, Santa Monica College, and other institutions as well. One of our current volunteers is even still in high school!

The RRMC Volunteer Services website says the Application deadline for the Orientation is on this date only, can I still join even though the date passed?

Yes, those are the dates for the “General Volunteer Orientations”. Those only occur once or twice a month. If you would like to join MAPS, you will go through a separate procedure called the Pre-Assigned Volunteer Appointment.

The RRMC Volunteer Services website says that we have to write an essay for the Student Application. Do I still need to write this essay even though I will go through the Pre-Assigned Volunteer Appointment and NOT the General Volunteer Orientation?

Yes, you still have to write this essay and fill out the student application like any other volunteer. The only difference is that you will turn this essay into Regina Naanos, the Volunteer Coordinator who processes MAPS volunteers.

Please be aware that this essay is different from the paragraph(s) you will need to send to the MAPS Leadership Team.

Wait, what’s the difference between a General Volunteer Orientation and a Pre-Assigned Volunteer Appointment?

The General Volunteer Orientation is a 3-hour long orientation for general volunteers who do NOT know what volunteer program they want to be part of. The Pre-Assigned Volunteer Appointment is a 15-minute session that accommodates volunteers who know what volunteer program they want to be part of. For MAPS, volunteers who have been accepted into our program will obtain a sign-up link to meet with Regina Naanos to get processed.

The MAPS Program sounds like a great volunteer program. Is there an acceptance rate? Is there an interview process? Is there a competitive screening process?  Can anybody just join?

The MAPS Leadership Team believe that anybody who is hard-working and dedicated should have the opportunity to volunteer with our program to further explore the health care field in order to determine their interests and potential future careers. We welcome anyone to apply for our programs, regardless of your major, age, or institution (we have had volunteers from other universities, and yes, even from USC!).

Applications for our three programs are open at the beginning of each quarter. We are recruiting for general MAPS at RRMC, general MAPS at SMH, and Fall Ambassador Program (FAP). Because our general MAPS program at RRMC is near full capacity, we can only offer a limited number of acceptances. However, we are looking for more volunteers for our SMH program and FAP!

For application details, please refer to our “How to Apply” page here. Yes, we do require an interview with a MAPS intern or supervisor.

While MAPS volunteers are free to come in at any time to volunteer, as we do not assign shifts, please keep in mind that we do have strict assignment completion requirements. Volunteers must complete their monthly assigned units on time. We operate on a “3 strike you’re out policy” and once that occurs, your whole volunteer record through the UCLA Volunteer Services system will be jeopardized.

Please don’t join our program for the sake of your graduate school resume. It is obvious when a volunteer does not complete his or her assignments within the month. Our program data collection process is based on high accuracy, reliability, and reproducibility. We only seek those who are highly motivated, hard-working, and dedicated. Our volunteers are able to benefit from our program by gaining clinical volunteering experiences and exploring  health care-related interests for their future careers; simultaneously, we, as the program, will be continuously growing, expanding, and increasing in data collection numbers for the RRMC unit directors, C-level administrators, charge nurses, and many other staff members who focus on infectious disease prevention and patient safety.

What are the program requirements?

Please click here to read about our program requirements: https://uclamaps.wordpress.com/apply/

The volunteer office said I needed some MAPS Job Description form. Where can I get this?

This is the MAPS New Volunteer Acceptance Letter. To obtain this letter, please check the “How to Apply” section here. You will only receive this letter if you have been accepted into our MAPS program.

Can I volunteer with MAPS part-time because I also have other job obligations, work study, hard classes, etc.

Our MAPS program is very flexible. You do not have to volunteer weekly. You just have to complete your 8 department assignments by the end of each month (this is a total of a minimum of 16 hours in each month). Usually, we would recommend volunteering 4 hours a week to spread out the assignments so you won’t get stressed out. However, many of our volunteers plan ahead due to midterms, trips, presentations, studying, or finals. As a result, you could technically finish all 16 hours in one week if you desire. Nevertheless, it is crucial that volunteers finish their hours by the end of the month. So yes, you can volunteer “part-time” or “full-time” as long as you can finish your assignments by the end of the month.

How is MAPS different than the other volunteer programs?

We believe that you should explore all the other available volunteer programs at the Ronald Reagan before you commit to our program. Our MAPS Program is very unique and different than all other programs at the RRMC because you will not be confined to one department in the RRMC. MAPS Volunteers are free to go everywhere, in literally every department according to their monthly assignments. You will also get to observe all different types of staff including attendings, residents, interns, physicians, nurses, care partners, respiratory technicians, patient transport, food services, etc. We are also the only program that has a physician rounding team shadowing opportunity where you get to go on rounds with physicians in the early morning. Our program is also very flexible because you are not assigned specific dates/times to volunteers. You just have to complete your monthly assignments by the end of the month. This means you can volunteer whenever you want including weekdays, weekends, at 7AM or at 11PM. Our MAPS Leadership Team is also one of the most friendly and outgoing team at the RRMC. We genuinely care about your volunteering experience and we want you to have the best & most enjoyable volunteering experience. For that reason, the whole team accommodates all our volunteers in many various ways to ensure that they will have a worthwhile volunteering experience.

I am from another volunteer program/department and I would like to switch to MAPS. Can I do this? If so,  how do I do this?

No, you cannot just switch. However, you can still join MAPS and volunteer simultaneously with our program and your original program. Because you have already gone through the RRMC Volunteering Services, you will be able to bypass the general volunteer orientation general steps including: filling out the volunteer student application, clearing with LiveScan, getting immunizations, getting your volunteer ID badge and volunteer jacket. Please remember that if you are not done with your current volunteer program, you are still required to volunteer for your original program. For example, you are in Patient Escort and have completed 30/50 hours so far and would like to switch to MAPS.  You are capable of volunteering with MAPS simultaneously but please remember that you must volunteer for Patient Escort simultaneously to complete the remaining 30 hours (please remember that this could double up to 4 hours (x2) per week totaling 8 hours of volunteering per week).

To “transfer”, you will need to send in your CV or resume and a brief paragraph (1000 characters max) that answers the question, “Why are you interested in applying to MAPS?”. In short, you will need to follow the first three steps listed on our “How to Apply” page of the website. After you have interviewed and been accepted into the program, you do not have to go through the entire process. You will simply sign-up for an appointment with Regina Naanos to hand in your Acceptance Letter and receive a slip to buy the required Volunteer Jacket, if you do not have it already. You will not need to go through the LiveScan again.

I have just completed the LiveScan through the Security Office. What do I do now?

Great job! You are 1/3 way completed. Now you should wait about 2-3 weeks and within this time, you should hear back from the Volunteer Office informing you that you have cleared (ideally) your LiveScan and that you are ready for the next step. Your next step is to make a 2nd Appointment with Regina Naanos so you can get your ID badge, volunteer jacket, and log in ID. That’s Step 6.

I have waited 3 weeks already and have not heard back from LiveScan or the Volunteer office. What do I do? Why did they not contact me back yet?

Great question! Our MAPS Program does not know either because we are not in charge of the LiveScan protocol nor volunteering services at the RRMC. The MAPS Leadership Team only deals with everything MAPS-related under the Department of Patient Affairs. Although we are under the umbrella of Volunteer Services at the RRMC, we do not know about the status of a potential volunteer. To get direct answers or status updates about your LiveScan status, please contact Regina Naanos, one of the Volunteer Coordinators, at 310-267-8182. If she does not pick up, you could try the main office number at 310-267-8180.  Last but not least, you may also directly stop by the Volunteer Office to ask. The office is located on the B-level of the RRMC in Room B-791.

Is the MAPS Program currently taking applicants? Is the recruitment period still going on? When does it end?

The MAPS Program recruits at the beginning of each quarter (including summer sessions). The only times when the program is a little slower is when it’s break: Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer Break.

How long does it take for me to complete the whole application cycle + training?

The application cycle + training could ultimately take a whole quarter to complete due to the fact that we also have a day job called school + midterms + studying. In addition, please realize that the intern coordinators and volunteer coordinators all have hectic schedules. The Live Scan process could take up to 2-3 weeks. Then you have to get trained 3-4 different times in 3-4 different areas (could be finished in one day if schedule permits). The fastest time to go through the whole application cycle + training sessions is 3 weeks. The longest is a quarter. It really depends on your schedule and your trainer’s schedule so there is no exact answer.

What immunizations do I need to get for the Volunteer Office? Do they need this? Do they need that?

Please read over this page to see what immunizations are required.

I need a TB test. Does it have to be 2-step? Where can I get it? When do I have to complete it by?

You can get a TB test from your personal primary care. You can also get one from the UCLA Ashe Center. You need to get a 2-step TB test. For example, you take one on Monday 10/2 and wait 48 hours for your results. Then, you can take another one on the following Monday 10/9 and wait 48 hours for your results. When you are finished, you could continue on to the 2nd Appointment.

I want to join MAPS but I’m not a student. I want to join MAPS but I don’t go to UCLA. Can I join?

Yes! We accept anyone who has the desire to join our program and help prevent infectious diseases and contribute to patient safety at the Ronald Reagan. Regardless of your age, institution, major, gpa, experience, etc. you are definitely welcome to work with us and we are excited to have you on our team!

I only want to volunteer with MAPS for a quarter OR I only want to volunteer with MAPS for the Summer OR I only want to volunteer with MAPS for 2 quarters, etc. Is this possible?

No, this is not possible. Unfortunately, we cannot accept volunteers who cannot commit to a minimum of 3 UCLA quarters including the quarter that you joined/trained. The reason why is because training takes a lot of time and investment from the MAPS Leadership Team and there is no reason to invest 5-10 weeks into a volunteer who could only volunteer for an additional 10 weeks regardless if she or he can complete the RRMC Volunteer Services requirement of 80 hours in a quarter.

I am still confused. What exactly do you do in the MAPS Program? What is the data used for?

As a volunteer with the MAPS Program, you will conduct safety patient observations in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by filling out audits and observational sheets. You will use 3 tools designed by the Office of Patient Affairs. The first one is Hand Washing: you will check to see if the staff member you are observing is following correct hand washing protocol according to Joint Commission and the UCLA Health System Department of Infection Control. You will do the same observation/auditing for Medication Administration, Syringe, Blood Specimen Draws, and Isolation (Personal Protective Equipment). With these tools, you can use them in any floor or department in the Ronald Reagan and observe any staff member ranging from physician to nurse to care giver to patient transport. Your data and observations are tallied at the end of the month and the MAPS Leadership Team creates a Monthly Report for the administrative staff at the RRMC. This includes the C-level staff, charge nurses of every department, unit directors of every department, and other important staff members. These staff members then use this data to analyze their own departments, present at conferences and committee meetings such as the Performance Improvement and Patient Safety (PIPS) Committee meeting. This data is really important for hospital administrative staff because they use it to know how their department is doing in regards to patient safety so they can further maintain or improve their departments in order to prepare for Joint Commission when the organization visits.

Are the staff members at the RRMC comfortable around MAPS Volunteers? It seems like we are policing them and following them around.

Yes, the staff members at the RRMC are very comfortable around us. Our MAPS Program has been around since 2006 and everyone knows us. The only staff members who are not as familiar with our program are the night shift staff members (those who work from 7PM to 7AM). For this reason, if you volunteer during the graveyard shifts, you may have questions concerning “what are you doing? what are you volunteering for” etc. Do not worry, it may seem that you are policing the staff members and observing them to see if they are following correct Joint Commission guidelines and protocol. However, they are used to it because A) our program has been around for a very long time and B) their supervisors do this to them also and C) when Joint Commission comes, they will be officially shadowed as well. In a sense, we are just letting them practice; we are creating AWARENESS for the RRMC staff members to further promote correct hand hygiene, correct medication administration, correct blood drawing protocol, and correct donning of personal protective equipment.

What is Joint Commission? I’m perplexed.

Joint Commission determines the funding, accreditation, and certification for hospitals in the United States. It is a contributing factor in the fact that the UCLA Hospital System is #1 on the West Coast and #3 in the nation. They are a very important group. To read more about their mission statements and visions, please visit their website at http://www.jointcommission.org/AboutUs/

Can I still join the MAPS Program even if I study abroad?

We recommend that you join the MAPS Program after you come back from studying abroad. However, get all your paperwork in and Live Scan completed since this takes 1-2 months. This includes the Direct Referral Session, Referral Slip signed, Live Scan, etc. It does not include MAPS Training. Wait until you come back from studying abroad.

Are there informational sessions with MAPS intern coordinators or current MAPS Volunteers? Can I follow a volunteer to see what it’s like for a day in the MAPS Program.

Yes, there is an informational session at the beginning of the school year with MAPS intern coordinators. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at uclamaps@gmail.com. Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to go up to the departments in the Ronald Reagan to observe us for a day to see what our program is like. You would have to complete your security checks, have your ID badge, complete your Live Scan. There is just too much paperwork and security administrative purposes for you to go through; for that reason, we cannot let you see what it’s like to be a MAPS Volunteer for a day.

What if I join MAPS and I realize that I don’t like it?

Unfortunately, once you join you must commit. Therefore, please read carefully what our program is about. Please read our mission statements, our goals, and our purpose of existence in the Ronald Reagan. We are about patient safety and infectious disease prevention. Once you join, you must complete the 80 hours required by the RRMC Volunteer Services in addition to our min. of 3 quarter requirement. If you are unsure about our program, please email us at uclamaps@gmail.com to ask any further questions or to express your personal concerns. Last but not least, read our extensive MAPS Training Manual (found in the Resources tab) if you would like further details & information about our volunteer program.

How many volunteers are in the MAPS Program?

Excluding the MAPS Leadership Team, as of May 2016, we have over 80 volunteers.

Are there any social events in the MAPS Volunteer Program? Is this also a net-working group or social group?

The main focus of our volunteer program is to maintain and promote patient safety at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. We are not a social group like a Greek fraternity or club organization that provides weekly social events or net-working opportunities. However, we do have one MAPS meeting a month and we do provide food to our volunteers. This is usually a very outgoing and social opportunity for our volunteers to get to know one another. In addition, we also have an End-of-the-Year Banquet that further allows our volunteers to mingle and get to know one another as well as the MAPS Leadership Team. In the past, we have had these banquets at Ami Japanese Restaurant, Acapulco’s Mexican Restaurant, and a large BBQ at one of our supervisor’s houses in Westwood. Last but not least, in regards to networking, you will definitely be exposed to a wide variety of health-care-related fields & staff members in the RRMC. You will be able to interact with many different types of staff members and physicians in the RRMC. However, this varies according to each volunteer because whatever you put in is whatever you get out. Opportunities to “network”  are definitely available, but these opportunities are not directly presented or handed to our volunteers on a silver platter because that’s not what our program is about- we are not a club, we are a volunteer organization.

Does the MAPS Program provide exposure to pharmacy or other health professions?

You cannot choose to volunteer in a department over and over again. We assign all types of departments to our volunteers and you will be able to have a “taste” of a little bit of everything. Our program does not focus on any health field specifically so to answer this question, yes you will be exposed to medication administration (which is relevant to pharmacy) but no, our program’s main focus is not on pharmacy. Similar to other health fields, you will be exposed to a little bit of everything at the RRMC including all types of professions. The majority of exposure will be relevant to pre-meds and pre-nursing students because most of the staff members that our volunteers shadow are physicians, nurses, care givers, and phlebotomists.

Can MAPS help me with information regarding Pre-Health, Pre-Med, Nursing, etc?

Unfortunately, we do not provide this type of information. Please check our UCLA Career Center’s website for more information on these Pre-Health professions.

Did we not answer your question? Please email us at uclamaps@gmail.com and we will be glad to help you with any questions or concerns!