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Sparda29

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I'm having trouble figuring out what this position would be called or if it is even available? I'm starting a volunteer position in the Orthopedic Department at the local hospital, but I was told that I cannot do anything other than just talk to the patients, bring blankets and stuff, talk to the families.

Well this is what I want to know, is there a volunteer position available where I can directly assist the medical staff and actually get involved in the medical work(with proper training of course). And does a position even exist?
 

Bacchus

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In short, no. If you're volunteering or shadowing the physician you are with may let you help a little on a very, very low risk procedure. However, there is too much litigation to let pre-meds assist with most, if not all, procedures.

If you wish to train and work as an EMT, CNA, or ER Tech (for example) you will be able to assist more in patient care and possible procedures.

Without any formal training, you are a big liability to the physician you are around.
 
M

MichiganEMTInt

Well this is what I want to know, is there a volunteer position available where I can directly assist the medical staff and actually get involved in the medical work(with proper training of course). And does a position even exist?

Every time I organize orientations for the new volunteers of the program I work for, I tell them over and over they are not to touch the patient to provide medical care. You are extremely unlikely to find a volunteer position that allows the volunteers to provide medical care for the patient. If you're interested in this kind of position you you will need to do CNA training, EMT training, Phlebotomy training, etc. Something that requires a formal education program. Like I said, 99.9% chance of this type of volunteering position existing, and if it does, the liability on the hospital would be enormous.
 

TexasTriathlete

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Your first mistake is volunteering in the ortho department. You're going to be on the floor, and that will suck more balls than you can count. Volunteer on the night shift at a busy ER, and then see how much they limit your duties.

If you work hard, and don't act like a cocky-ass idiot pre-med, they will love you.

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Sparda29

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I asked them for an overnight shift, but the latest volunteers are allowed to stay is 7PM.

Not only that, but they are only giving me 3 frikkin hours/week since they want to give more hours to some brat high school kids. Who the hell actually volunteers while in high school?
 

dangit

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I would suggest volunteering in an emergency room (ER). IF you can shadow the doctor in the Orthopedics office (where you are right now), then stick with it. See if they are willing to let you observe procedures and whatnot. If not, I'd say your time is better spent working elsewhere where they will allow to observe and shadow. I volunteered in an ER and it was at a county hospital/teaching hospital. Actually, it was Highland Hospital in Oakland. Now, if you know Oakland, you can probably imagine what I saw....from gun shot wounds, to car accidents, you name it....it was almost like I was in the tv show ER. The doctors and nurses there were really cool about letting volunteers sit in on procedures. In fact, one nurse told me to hold up a ladies belly (she was obese) while she inserted a catheter...it was a weird experience, but pretty cool on retrospect. Depending on the hospital, they will let do more stuff. Anyway, do a google search online for county hospitals and see if they have volunteer programs. If you live in Oakland/Bay Area/SF, CA, let me knwo and I can give you some more ideas about volunteering and whatnot. Good luck :)
 

Sparda29

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Originally, I was going to go into the ER but I found out that it was overstaffed, and that since they don't get to do much, all the volunteers in the ER end up doing is standing around talking.
 

Bacchus

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Wherever you are you need to be proactive. Even in a busy ER, if you don't make yourself available you may be disappointed. The staff doesn't have a list of the following must dos:

1) Have a pre-med observe every procedure
2) Have a pre-med perform his own thoracotomy
3) Have a pre-med follow you around like a lost dog

You make of your volunteer experience what you want it to be.
 
M

MichiganEMTInt

Well, EMT/Paramedic was the job I was looking for, but when I called up FDNY, they told me that they don't want part-timers.

Tip from a fellow EMT:

Never, never, never start with fire departments. In a city with a population like NYC, 1 million +, they will not let a basic EMT work part time. You will need, at a minimum, fire 1 and 2 certifications, if not EMT-P (paramedic) license as well.

Go private for your first (few) jobs. There is a service in NYC I know of (Hatzolah) you might look into. Before you do this, even, go get your EMT license.

I agree with everyone who suggested volunteering in ER. Great place to start. Good thing is, many specialties will be called down to ER for consults. This equals networking which equals possible shadowing / research opportunities. Like others have said, be assertive and proactive whenever you are in the hospital. Also, don't expect to "do much". You won't be performing procedures or providing care in any way as a volunteer. Start off small, get to know the unit, get to know the staff, get to know the patients.
 

TexasTriathlete

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In a busy ER, you can create your own opportunities.

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mcp5016

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Alright, so I just started volunteering at a community hospital, which is basically run by the LECOM interns and residents. I started Monday just doing inventory across the entire hospital and I am going back in tomorrow to volunteer in either radiology, medical records, or escorting patients around the hospital. I get 6hr/week and I was wondering how I could drift over to other areas to get that direct clinical experience. I want to sit in on a procedure or watch a diagnosis, how would I go about that? This is my first time in a hospital not as a patient, so I don't really know what is overstepping a boundary. Thanks.
 

GreenShirt

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OP your best bet is to get an actual job in the hospital. With your EMT certificate you can either be an ED Tech or possibly fulfill a CNA role on a floor (this position is called things like Nurse's Assistant or Patient Care Tech). Most hospitals have part-time or PRN/per diem positions (the latter means you work as needed, ie you fill in for other people). Higher trauma level hospitals usually require EMT-P with experience but low level or non-trauma centers will accept EMT-B. These jobs are fairly coveted in the EMT community since they pay more than ambulance work so may find them hard to get.

Unfortunately, b/c of liability to the hospital you won't be able to do hands on work with patients as a volunteer. Volunteering involves thing like getting juice/magazines for patients or escorting them to the car in wheel chairs, etc.
 

TexasTriathlete

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You have to have an IQ less than 25 to work on one of the floors. ED is where its at.

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Sparda29

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Okay, so my first day there and I was bored as ****. Let's see what they had me doing. Making copies, giving out ice and water to the patients, some more copies, running down to medical records for envelopes, and just sitting around watching the clock go by. Not what I expected, I was thinking that I would be able to observe orthopedic surgeries happening, maybe helping out the physical therapists.

I was thinking also that most of the patients would be teenagers and sports players. It was 90% geriatrics on that floor.
 

Thantis

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Okay, so my first day there and I was bored as ****. Let's see what they had me doing. Making copies, giving out ice and water to the patients, some more copies, running down to medical records for envelopes, and just sitting around watching the clock go by. Not what I expected, I was thinking that I would be able to observe orthopedic surgeries happening, maybe helping out the physical therapists.

I was thinking also that most of the patients would be teenagers and sports players. It was 90% geriatrics on that floor.

HIPAA and primarily fear of getting sued is the reason why it won't be easy to get to watch a surgery firsthand. I was a patient care tech at the place I was at for quite some time and that route was the easiest way legally for the hospital to allow me to watch a surgery.

As to the geriatrics percentage, I welcome you to the future of healthcare and what primarily fills up hospital bed rosters.

Like others have said, it is highly suggested to obtain a paid position in order to get greater exposure.
 

White Rabbit

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Your first mistake is volunteering in the ortho department. You're going to be on the floor, and that will suck more balls than you can count. Volunteer on the night shift at a busy ER, and then see how much they limit your duties.

If you work hard, and don't act like a cocky-ass idiot pre-med, they will love you.

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I'd have to agree with this recommendation. :thumbup:
 

Perfectionist

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ok so I volunteered in ER today and it was so boring, I mean I didn't do anything but make beds and clean stuff......maybe I have high expectations...but how can you make it more worthwhile?
 

TexasTriathlete

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It starts with making beds, stocking linens, and stuff like that. Talk to the techs and see what they need help with. If you work hard, they will be the first ones to notice. At most ERs, the techs are loaded down with **** work, so whatever you can do to lighten this load will absolutely be noticed. In-turn, they will show you a few things, here and there, and then the nurses and docs will notice that you aren't the standard pre-med volunteer, who isn't worth his weight in ****.

Once you get a little more comfortable with the place, you'll get a better feel for the kinds of things that they would have you do.

Remember, as a volunteer, you are there to help out, first and foremost. You aren't there just to look at **** and go "oooooooohhh". You aren't there to talk out your ass about how membrane-bound receptors are working in a particular medical situation either. Nobody gives a **** about how what you learned in undergrad biology classes relates to what is going on. Your knowledge is useless in every situation. Just keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. Help the staff out as much as you can, and you absolutely will pick up some valuable experience along the way.
 
M

MichiganEMTInt

Nobody gives a **** about how what you learned in undergrad biology classes relates to what is going on. Your knowledge is useless in every situation.

I'm pretty sure I'd like you to come speak at the orientation next semester. Thanks TT. Youthful axons? Anyone?
 

tourniquet1963

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I asked them for an overnight shift, but the latest volunteers are allowed to stay is 7PM.

Not only that, but they are only giving me 3 frikkin hours/week since they want to give more hours to some brat high school kids. Who the hell actually volunteers while in high school?
what the hell kind of hospital is that? go volunteer in the ER.. they need help 24/7

nevermind, i read the rest of the thread
 
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