In the past 16 years, over 400 SCOPE alumni and 77 SCOPE current volunteers have not only contributed more than 77,000 hours of service with the Emergency Department, but also gave back to SCVMC in ways such as providing support for the passing of Measure A in 2008. Below are some of the ways SCOPE volunteers and interpreters have improved efficiency and patient satisfaction in the ED and impacted the SCVMC community.


“Today was a great day to be an interpreter. I was requested by about 10 hospital staff and interpreted for 25+ patients across Express Care, Triage, and the Emergency Room. I wouldn’t even be finished interpreting for someone when I heard on the intercom that I was needed at another location.”

~Rodolfo Macias, Spanish Interpreter (2014)


1. SCOPE interpreters provide free in-person interpretation services in Spanish and Vietnamese on weekend and overnight shifts when there are no in-house hospital interpreters.

  • SCOPE interpreters are certified and trained by SCVMC Language Services Department
  • To receive certification, interpreters must pass the SCVMC language exam and complete 16 hours of hands-on training with a hospital interpreter
  • Interpreters meet twice monthly at Stanford to hone their skills
  • In 2016 alone, SCOPE interpreters:
    • Served more than 400 interpreter shifts
    • Provided 3,000+ hours of medical interpreter services
    • Interpreted for over 2,400 patients

2. SCOPE volunteers improve overall workflow through thoughtful assistance to the medical staff. Volunteers receive orientation and clearance through SCVMC Volunteer Services Department, and are trained by veteran volunteers in the ED on how to best assist the medical team. Because the medical team is tasked with such critical responsibilities, volunteers are trained to help streamline workflow by carrying out tasks including:

  • Obtaining medical supplies/equipment required for procedures
  • Delivering/finding forms (e.g: patient discharge papers, so that medical team can accept more patients)
  • Helping clean and prepare beds for next patients
  • Assisting with traumas by collecting patient belongings, removing backboards, etc.

3. SCOPE volunteers are trained to improve patient communication and satisfaction in the ED and to help ensure patients have a positive experience in the hospital. Upon physician approval and request, these responsibilities include:

  • Obtaining water, snacks, and warm blankets for patients
  • Retrieving food trays from the kitchen and delivering to nurses
  • Calling patients’ loved ones from the waiting room or bringing them to the family room
  • Communicating individual patient requests and health status (i.e. in pain, hungry, nauseous) to medical staff

4. SCOPE volunteers give back to SCVMC by initiated community-driven projects, including instrumental work in support of Measure A to provide $840 Million in funding critical SCVMC updates.

  • In 2008, SCOPE recruited over 70 volunteers who went door-to-door to gain support for Measure A. The passing of Measure A was aided in large part by SCOPE’s community-driven efforts. Some of the impactful provisions of Measure A included ensuring no reduction in SCVMC’s state-licensed bed capacity and allowing critical treatment centers to remain open.
  • SCOPE earned a Stanford Community Arts Grant for creation and installment of culturally-reflective paintings for the ED. Studies demonstrate that more than half of the patient population experiences escalating pain and anxiety correlated to waiting time before seeing a physician, and that most patients have a strong preference for art in hospitals (Gates, 2008). This art project, depicted on the left, seeks to address these issues, and create a sense of community. (Painting by Vy Tran, ED Waiting Room)
    • Students spent 800 hours fundraising, painting, and installing 6 art pieces for ED
    • Total of $13,000 fundraised, with $4,000 received from Stanford Institution of Diversity in the Arts