tradkeke

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2017
131
51
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys I have a quick question,

I'm currently looking for a volunteer position at a hospital and the one at my university has 2 open positions.

One working front desk and one ER. Obviously the ER one sounds better but in reality it is awful. You pretty much just stand around for 4 hours, make the occasional bed, and go home. There is next to no patient contact. There is also one working at the front desk directing patients where I would be much more engaged and actually talking to people, but on paper sounds much less clinical.

What would you guys recommend? If it makes a difference I have a good amount of hours as an EMT (about 500) where I started out doing mainly transfers but now I am working a 911 ambulance service so I get plenty of contact with patients that way.

Someone told me to forget about hospital volunteering since I have other patient experience and focus on non-clinical. But I would feel uneasy applying with such little hospital volunteering as it seems like everyone has it.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: septalridge

septalridge

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2016
24
16
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys I have a quick question,

I'm currently looking for a volunteer position at a hospital and the one at my university has 2 open positions.

One working front desk and one ER. Obviously the ER one sounds better but in reality it is awful. You pretty much just stand around for 4 hours, make the occasional bed, and go home. There is next to no patient contact. There is also one working at the front desk directing patients where I would be much more engaged and actually talking to people, but on paper sounds much less clinical.

What would you guys recommend? If it makes a difference I have a good amount of hours as an EMT (about 500) where I started out doing mainly transfers but now I am working a 911 ambulance service so I get plenty of contact with patients that way.

Someone told me to forget about hospital volunteering since I have other patient experience and focus on non-clinical. But I would feel uneasy applying with such little hospital volunteering as it seems like everyone has it.

Any help would be appreciated.
You have 2 possible volunteer positions, one of which looks better on paper but in reality (insofar as you understand it) is not. Perhaps before you make a final decision you could speak with the coordinator for the ER and explain your concerns with a mind towards achieving a more productive experience. If that approach is unsuccessful, you can either do the front desk experience and craft your application to reflect the positive nature of your experience, or you can forego both of them in search of something more helpful.
 

Goro

Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
54,439
80,824
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Hey guys I have a quick question,

I'm currently looking for a volunteer position at a hospital and the one at my university has 2 open positions.

One working front desk and one ER. Obviously the ER one sounds better but in reality it is awful. You pretty much just stand around for 4 hours, make the occasional bed, and go home. There is next to no patient contact. There is also one working at the front desk directing patients where I would be much more engaged and actually talking to people, but on paper sounds much less clinical.

What would you guys recommend? If it makes a difference I have a good amount of hours as an EMT (about 500) where I started out doing mainly transfers but now I am working a 911 ambulance service so I get plenty of contact with patients that way.

Someone told me to forget about hospital volunteering since I have other patient experience and focus on non-clinical. But I would feel uneasy applying with such little hospital volunteering as it seems like everyone has it.

Any help would be appreciated.
Do the ER. You can mention what it entailed in your apps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tradkeke
About the Ads
OP
T

tradkeke

2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2017
131
51
Status
Medical Student
Do the ER. You can mention what it entailed in your apps.
Interesting, why do you say ER when there would be less overall patient contact? I'm just curious. Is it because of the on-paper advantage?
 

Goro

Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
54,439
80,824
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Interesting, why do you say ER when there would be less overall patient contact? I'm just curious. Is it because of the on-paper advantage?
I apologize!!! I mixed the two choices up. Go for the one with the most people contact!!!!!!
 

lancecorpsman

2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
60
54
Status
Pre-Medical
If you already work on a 911 medic, I have a feeling you're over qualified to volunteer at such capacity. I would find something different.
 

aformerstudent

probationary status 4life
Removed
Account on Hold
Mar 7, 2017
695
206
Status
Medical Student
Skip both. Be proactive and go to the volunteer office and tell them of your plans to go to med school and tell them you want to shadow. See what they can set you up with. Guaranteed it will better than that ER position.
 

drlemons

2+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2016
212
135
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
I would do the front desk.

I was in a similar situation. I started volunteering at the hospital and they initially placed me in the ER and it was exactly how you mentioned. I stood around for hours waiting for something to do. Occasionally I cleaned beds and restocked supplies but mostly I felt like I was in the way and had very little patient contact. After a few weeks, I asked to be moved to another volunteer position at which time I was placed at the main information desk. There, I mostly discharge patients (new mothers and their babies for the most part), help visitors navigate the hospital, deliver flowers to patients, and help staff wherever needed. I see much more patient contact with the front desk position and feel more fulfilled like I'm actually helping out.

I'm sure other SDNers will have conflicting experiences but this is my story and I say you should do the front desk.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Anonimus.Maximus

2+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2015
244
230
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys I have a quick question,

I'm currently looking for a volunteer position at a hospital and the one at my university has 2 open positions.

One working front desk and one ER. Obviously the ER one sounds better but in reality it is awful. You pretty much just stand around for 4 hours, make the occasional bed, and go home. There is next to no patient contact. There is also one working at the front desk directing patients where I would be much more engaged and actually talking to people, but on paper sounds much less clinical.

What would you guys recommend? If it makes a difference I have a good amount of hours as an EMT (about 500) where I started out doing mainly transfers but now I am working a 911 ambulance service so I get plenty of contact with patients that way.

Someone told me to forget about hospital volunteering since I have other patient experience and focus on non-clinical. But I would feel uneasy applying with such little hospital volunteering as it seems like everyone has it.

Any help would be appreciated.
I'd say the front desk. Now, I'm also an applicant, so disregard this if Goro says I'm wrong. That being said...

You have good clinical hours. I think that that's the most important thing. Also, remember that you're going to be doing a lot of writing for secondaries, and it is always easier to write about your activities with sincere enthusiasm.

For example: Miami's secondary asks about your most meaningful volunteer experience. I have two or three clinical volunteering activities I could have chosen, but I decided to write about tutoring underprivileged inner-city teenagers for the SAT, because that's the volunteering that I'm proudest of. I interview there in a couple weeks, so I think my approach worked. (Sample size = 1, but still.)
 

Planes2Doc

Residency is ruff!
7+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2012
2,748
2,320
The South
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'd ask yourself about what goals you have for yourself. Is this something you genuinely want to do, or are you doing it for your application?

If it's the latter, do the one with the most convenient shifts and that would allow you to study for both classes and the MCAT on your shifts. It sounds like the front desk may actually work out well for that. We have all elderly volunteers at the hospital, and I usually see them sitting around reading magazines or newspapers (hopefully we remember what those are) when they are manning the stations.

Also, volunteering is like Vegas minus 99% of the fun. What happens during volunteering stays at the hospital. You don't have to embellish or lie to the max, but you don't have to disclose not doing too much productive stuff (do not mention studying for school) during shifts either. You can leave a little to the imagination, and it will do your app and life good.
 
About the Ads