At-Home Dialysis as Clinical Experience?

trombone-premed

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    Hello all,

    As part of my job of “being a good kid to sick parents,” I have to do some rather technical work in the administration of at-home hemodialysis for my father, who has CKD Stage 6.

    I can see how run-of-the-mill caregiving isn’t clinical experience for the sake of medical school apps, but this job of mine left me scratching my head a little. What does everyone here think - clinical, or not so much?

    Clinical aspects: had to be trained for about 2 months in proper technique in order to administer at-home HD, have to intervene in acute situations (such as BP drop-out, etc.), and am generally doing the work of a dialysis nurse. Wasn’t required to take on this job, but did so to help make my dad’s life a little easier (vs. “obligation”)

    Non-clinical aspects: home setting, only one patient (my dad) - not exactly branching into the “caring for total strangers” category.

    Thanks for reading, let me know what y’all think!
     

    LizzyM

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      Put it on the application as "other" if you have less than 15 slots filled with other work&activities. You could, perhaps, reflect on what you've learned in one or more of your essays. Do have other clinical activities with people who are not your friends or relatives.
       
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      Goro

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        Hello all,

        As part of my job of “being a good kid to sick parents,” I have to do some rather technical work in the administration of at-home hemodialysis for my father, who has CKD Stage 6.

        I can see how run-of-the-mill caregiving isn’t clinical experience for the sake of medical school apps, but this job of mine left me scratching my head a little. What does everyone here think - clinical, or not so much?

        Clinical aspects: had to be trained for about 2 months in proper technique in order to administer at-home HD, have to intervene in acute situations (such as BP drop-out, etc.), and am generally doing the work of a dialysis nurse. Wasn’t required to take on this job, but did so to help make my dad’s life a little easier (vs. “obligation”)

        Non-clinical aspects: home setting, only one patient (my dad) - not exactly branching into the “caring for total strangers” category.

        Thanks for reading, let me know what y’all think!
        You're supposed to be a good child. It's not a clinical experience.
         

        narla_hotep

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          @Goro I'd say OP went above and beyond being a good child though. Bare minimum is supporting and being there for your father when his kidneys are failing, but being his dialysis nurse is a step higher. Still not an official clinical experience though since it's not through a formal program or working with unrelated patients, but a great thing to mention in a personal statement.
           

          Goro

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            @Goro I'd say OP went above and beyond being a good child though. Bare minimum is supporting and being there for your father when his kidneys are failing, but being his dialysis nurse is a step higher. Still not an official clinical experience though since it's not through a formal program or working with unrelated patients, but a great thing to mention in a personal statement.
            I agree, but its still not clinical experience, which was what the OP was asking about
             
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            Monkeymojo

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              Hmm.... I can see the disagreement. I am of the mind that you might be taking a few too many cookies out of the cookie jar if you list this as clinical experience. Lots of people become caregivers for family, I wouldn't recommend listing it as clinical experience unless it comes with something more. Clinical experience isn't just about caring for people it comes with knowledge of the healthcare system, HIPAA guidelines, sanitation techniques, etc. I think you might be in danger of showing a lack of understanding for proper scopes of practice if you try to create a narrative too close to that of a dialysis nurse or dialysis technician. In addition, I don't think this even qualifies as volunteering as taking care of family is more of an obligation you do out of respect/love for that person.

              Regardless, this shows character. Just make sure you don't pollute your application by trying to fit it into a block where it doesn't belong. You run the risk of making it seem like you did it for personal gain instead of its altruistic intention.
               
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