I don't have solid nonclinical volunteer work yet...

DocMcMommy

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2014
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I applied and finished the orientation for a nonclinical opportunity. I haven't signed up for any of their shifts yet, though. I had a few trips to take out of town at the end of summer, so I was going to set up a reoccurring shift with them after the semester started up. They're a very large organization with a lot of volunteers and are very open to volunteers jumping in whenever and however frequently they're interested in.

However, I volunteer with a Hospice organization and just volunteered to take another family on the days that I had been planning on using for the nonclinical place. We just really need more volunteers at this location and there were families that have been waiting for awhile and needed someone, so I offered my help.

I guess what I'm really asking is, how negatively will my lack of nonclinical work look later on? I hope to apply next cycle (assuming I don't mess up the MCAT in January/Spring), but the only nonclinical work I have is sporadic events I've done or helped set up with my school organizations.

It's not that I'm not interested in branching out or serving my community, but I'm invested in my current volunteer work and I didn't want patients and families left without. With my schoolwork, family, hospice, and my school organizations I don't really think I'll be able to add a reoccurring shift with this nonclinical place. I could probably do their bigger events though, during breaks and stuff. But I doubt that would really add up to much...? :/

At this rate by application season I'll just have the larger events and shifts that I could randomly attend through my school groups and this nonclinical place. Will that be sufficient?
 

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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Don't stretch yourself so thin that your grades drop or it impacts you negatively. Usually they care more about the length of time that you're there. If you're just signing up to check off a box on your application, it'll show. If you're happy with your hospice volunteering, you don't have to dogpile on things unless you really want to.
 
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DocMcMommy

DocMcMommy

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Feb 25, 2014
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I am happy with my hospice volunteering and I'm really happy that I am able to help out with another patient and family when they really need it. But, from what I've read on here, nonclinical is essential you'll be viewed poorly if you only did clinical volunteer work.

But, like you said, I don't want to get into to many things and not have time to focus on studying. Which is why I'm worried that I won't be able to devote much time to nonclinical work with this extra time at hospice. :/

For what it's worth, while I did begin looking into nonclinical work primarily because it was mentioned as a necessity here, I did choose something that I am interested in doing and would love to participate in if/when I have the time.
 
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DocMcMommy

DocMcMommy

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Feb 25, 2014
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And on top of that, my pre-health advisor has told me that hospice isn't enough clinical volunteering/experience and has suggested I look into a CNA program or EMS volunteering. I really don't have the time for that at all right now...
 

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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I am happy with my hospice volunteering and I'm really happy that I am able to help out with another patient and family when they really need it. But, from what I've read on here, nonclinical is essential you'll be viewed poorly if you only did clinical volunteer work.

But, like you said, I don't want to get into to many things and not have time to focus on studying. Which is why I'm worried that I won't be able to devote much time to nonclinical work with this extra time at hospice. :/

For what it's worth, while I did begin looking into nonclinical work primarily because it was mentioned as a necessity here, I did choose something that I am interested in doing and would love to participate in if/when I have the time.
Your advisor doesn't sound that smart. A CNA program? Why would you do that?? EMS is clinical too. @Goro could you chime in? Does he need nonclinical volunteering if he's already doing a ton of volunteering in hospice? I'm pretty sure you told me that it wasn't mandatory and I want @DocMcMommy to have a second opinion.
 
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BunnyMan17

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Mar 31, 2014
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Just my 0.02 but I have a lot of volunteering on my app, most of which is actually non clinical. But..... so far at my interviews they always ask about volunteering/altruism/etc but I only ever have time to talk about 1 maybe 2 of the volunteering gigs. I'll admit that a few of them I initially signed up for just to check boxes but I never did anything that had 0 meaning to me. As such I got a lot out of them and can talk your ear off if need be. So I think this might be one of those quality vs. quantity scenarios.
 
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Goro

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Your advisor, like most advisors, is a moron. I have a very high opinion of anyone doing work in hospice and most people are very uncomfortable being around reminders of our mortality.

You don't need a CNA or EMT experience. Many Adcom members (I for one) think of EMS as a glorified taxi driver anyway.

I recommend dropping the school organizations for service towards those less fortunate than yourself, unless your school orgs actually do this. I prefer people get off campus and out of their comfort zones.


And on top of that, my pre-health advisor has told me that hospice isn't enough clinical volunteering/experience and has suggested I look into a CNA program or EMS volunteering. I really don't have the time for that at all right now...
 
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DocMcMommy

DocMcMommy

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Feb 25, 2014
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Thank you everyone and @Goro !

I've actually been contemplating dropping my main school organization. I haven't yet because I have a leadership position in it and a lot of friends who will try to dissuade me from dropping. But, I really don't think my heart is in it and I would like to work with this nonclinical place, or just plain have a bit of extra time with my family! I just feel "stuck" and have been dragging my feet leaving, I feel kind of guilty I guess?

Anyway, thank you. I'm going to try and think of the best way to resign from my spot with my school stuff and work on this nonclinical place.


Also, not that it really matters, but I'm a she not a he! ;)

"DocMcMommy" ;)

Which is a play off of DocMcStuffins, not that anyone asked. McStuffins cares for toys and I care for my toddler...is where I was going with that, lol.