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ElliotStabler

2+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2016
32
1
Massachusetts
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Psychology Student
I finally called my local hospital and requested an interview to start volunteering. I have an interview set up but its for a pediatric outpatient setting comforting sick children and just doing arts and craft with them. The reason they gave me an interview with peds is because I stated i have an interest working with children.

The positions I was interested in were filled so they said they have this one available and a Pediatric ER position available. The more i think about it i'm not sure how I feel about 6 months (commitment requirement) doing arts and crafts. I love working with kids but I also want a sense of whats its like working in a hospital and taking care of patients. Maybe I should of shown more interest in the ER position. Is this position all just coloring/drawing?
 
Apr 3, 2016
23
17
Status
Pre-Medical
I'll go out on a limb and guess that you'll probably talk to the children (patients) while doing arts with them.

Given your apparent attitude/perception of what this experience is, I think you should absolutely do it as it will provide a tremendous opportunity for you to embrace the unknown and help you eliminate blind expectations.
 
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Espressso

2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2016
1,429
1,780
blood-brain barrier
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Medical Student
Do it.

My first hospital volunteering experience was hanging out with patients on the post op floor. It required a 6 month commitment with specific amounts of hours. I was hesitant but I ended up following through and I kept volunteering there for 3 years until graduation. It turned out to be an amazing, clinical experience. (Not to mention, you end up logging so many hours.) Even stuff like watching Tv with the patients was eye-opening.

As an undergrad volunteer, you're not going to be "taking care of patients". That's what the actual medical staff is doing. You need (want) to be able to experience it all. And this is a golden ticket for just that. You will be able to talk to nurses, PAs, and physicians, and for me, it was the best possible way I found out that I am drawn to the role of the physician and not any other medical position. Which, to me, is a very important distinction, as many of my peers had interview questions revolving around the, "why physician? And why not a nurse? or a PA?"

Remember, life begins when you step outside your comfort zone. So go there! I bet you will love it.
 
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candbgirl

Junior Member
Gold Donor
15+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,530
3,652
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Well from other threads on here it seems ER gigs aren't all that interesting and you have very little patient contact. Of course I don't know for sure but it sounds like the peds arts and crafts would give you a chance to interact with the patients and their family members. You'd actually be working with patients and not just restocking supplies or sitting at a desk. But you need a better attitude because this might be as close as you get to direct work with patients as an undergrad volunteer. No matter what you do, you will not be taking care of patients.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 
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Espressso

2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2016
1,429
1,780
blood-brain barrier
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Medical Student
The ER gigs are kind of lax and lame. But you won't get much else out of any department as a measly volunteer.
 
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Apr 3, 2016
23
17
Status
Pre-Medical
The ER gigs are kind of lax and lame. But you won't get much else out of any department as a measly volunteer.
I'm new to clinical volunteering but I don't know that I totally agree with this. One of the things I've been offered to do is check call lights on one of the hospital floors--that sounded cool to me because of the direct patient interaction. The volunteer who invited me said that most people just have simple requests--a pen, a chat, move the table closer--and some just want to talk to someone. That's ideal, to me.

However, after "training" around at a couple different basic locations, this last week I did the post-op room. That's my favorite so far and where I intend on spending all of my time for the next 6 or more months. It was mostly making beds and ice bags and sanitizing wires and signs but there's also discharges and patient interaction. Because of the patient load they have, you are pretty much constantly moving, too. I really enjoyed that as opposed to sitting in the volunteer office listening to the old women gossip and listening to the young people argue over who can avoid whatever request for volunteers just came in.
 
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