Gaining Experience: Volunteering vs. part time work in a healthcare field

TX2005

10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2008
24
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey all,
I'm planning the next few months as I get ready to go back to school to get my prereqs and have some questions around experience (health care, volunteer etc..).
I already know that shadowing is practically required, so that is something I will be pursuing for sure. Outside of that, I'm trying to choose between the following:

- Healthcare related volunteer work: Some options here include volunteering at a hospital, free health clinic, homeless shelter and such. This is something that is interesting and also fulfilling to me, and it can't hurt application wise I imagine.

- Part time paid healthcare related work: My other option is gaining part time employment in a health care related field. The one I am really looking at right now is being a certified pharmacy technician part time at a hospital. In order to do this, I would need to pass the national certification exam for pharmacy techs along with gaining IV certification. This would allow me to gain experience in a health care related field, while also making some extra money working part time.

I'm not really sure I'll have time for both, so I guess I'm curious what others feel would be more beneficial in my pursuit of going to dental school. Either of these are not specifically dental related (shadowing should help cover that), but I've read other experience is recommended/required as well. Any thoughts on how admissions committees view volunteer work vs. part time work in health care fields (Pharmacy Tech, EMT) that might require some form of certification?
Thanks!
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,243
2,398
Status
Dentist
Stick with pt.
 

TX2005

10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2008
24
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Stick with pt.
Do you think have a Pharmacy Tech certification along with being IV certified and some work experience alongside that will help out? That's sort of the battle I'm having right now on if its worth not pursuing that and going the volunteer route instead.

On the other hand, I can fill in with shadowing hours and volunteer work (student organizations etc..) as I can throughout the next couple years.
 
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doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,243
2,398
Status
Dentist
Do you think have a Pharmacy Tech certification along with being IV certified and some work experience alongside that will help out? That's sort of the battle I'm having right now on if its worth not pursuing that and going the volunteer route instead.

On the other hand, I can fill in with shadowing hours and volunteer work (student organizations etc..) as I can throughout the next couple years.
Shadowing-observing what dentistry is about.
Volunteering-sometimes pseudo work
PT-real work with real responsibility.
Think of shadowing/volunteering as fluff and a real job as the main course.
 

katy5787

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2008
93
0
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Dental Student
I would definitely be sure to do some volunteering. Many dental schools are very big on community service. One of the sections on the AADSAS application is just about volunteer work. Also, at some of my interviews the interviewer asked me "So tell me about the community service that you've done". There's nothing wrong with having a part-time job in the healthcare field, but I would also make sure you're doing some volunteer hours as well. Even if you just volunteer an hour or 2 a week at a hospital or something, dental schools will like to see that commitment.
 
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