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Ideas for Volunteering - more than front desk??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SHEinBoston, Feb 25, 2001.

  1. SHEinBoston

    SHEinBoston New Member

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    Does anyone have any good ideas for volunteering as a premed? I don't want to just sit at the reception desk in the ER, and never see anything.
     
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  3. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.

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    Try your local red cross. They will provide you with "first responder" training, teaching you CPR and some very basic care for injured and sick people. After you recieve your training, you'll be eligible for volunteering for major events in your area, like marathons, fairs and concerts. You still won't do much, but at least if anything happens you'll get to do some care.

    And don't give up on the hospital scene. Look at major public hospitals in Boston. Many times, hospitals do allow voluteers to do more than sit at the front desk, especially if they are underfunded.

    The best thing you can do is get some formal training in health care. I got my EMT licence in one semester. While I don't actually work with it, I'm able to do much more interesting volunteer work.

    Hope this helps!

    Nanon

    P.S. Not all volunteering has to be medically related, although ad coms like to see some. Teach someone to read!

    [This message has been edited by Nanon (edited 02-26-2001).]
     
  4. Hallie

    Hallie Member

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    Try volunteering at a free clinic or clinic for Medicaid patients in your area. You can usually train to take vitals and interview patients, interpret (if you speak another language), and even draw blood/do pegnancy tests/HIV testing, etc. Plus, you will really feel like you are helping people!!
     
  5. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member

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    You don't have to just volunteer on the hospital scene. Nursing homes are really good places to volunteer, or possibly a soup kitchen.
     
  6. dr. sean

    dr. sean New Member

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    Learn how to draw blood! Phlebotomy is one of the best ways to get into the ER and see things first hand. Also, ER's are in serious need of ER techs no formal training required just not the most glamorous job. But you will get valuble patient care experience.
     
  7. kelsey kit

    kelsey kit Junior Member

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    One of my most rewarding community involvement activities is being a Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. It is actually a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be.

    [This message has been edited by kelsey kit (edited 02-26-2001).]
     
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I work with the local Literacy Council assisting adults how to read. I tutor a recent Iranian immigrant in learning to read and write in English. It's quite rewarding and you meet a whole bunch of great people.
     
  9. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member

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    I also started out getting my EMT-B. I learned alot. That same summer, I also went to a community college to get my Nursing Assistant degree. It was such an easy class, but it allowed me to work in the ER. THAT was the life changing experience for me! I had such a wonderful time working in the ER, that I stayed there for 3 years..Soph year till Senior year of undergrad.

    I saw many volunteers, but none of them could do or see what I did as an NA. I was there through all the traumas..I even did CPR on several occasions(which few of my fellow med students have yet done)! It was unbelievable the experience and education that I got, and it was WONDERFUL conversation for my medical school interviews. Seriously, if you can be an NA, and still love the medical field, you know it is right for you!

    But, some caution about being an NA...working on a floor is much different than working in the ER or OR. I applied for only those 2 and refused to work on a floor because of the lack of help and physical 'scut work' required, such as changing beds and moving people around all the time (Im a very small person).

    Anyway, I am all for getting REAL medical experience. Of course, I did volunteer work on the side, but outside the hospital.

    Good luck



    ------------------
    ~Pegasus~
     
  10. I also was an EMT-B. This allowed for a more diverse experience because I actually had some skills. I would also consider teaching CPR, First Aid etc.... When I got my EMT, I was eventually able to weasel my way into the ER. Good luck.
     
  11. red fish

    red fish Junior Member

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    I volunteered teaching community first aid and safety for the Red Cross for three years during college, but I don't think it really gave me much medically-related exposure. A much better experience was volunteering at my local community hospital (Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, MA) as a Patient Representative. I put on a volunteer coat and spent one morning/wk visiting w/ the inpatients. Sometimes I'd get them a magazine, or cup of H20, but more often than not, they just wanted someone to talk to...a smile and a friendly face go a long way for someone who has no one else coming to visit. It was great to interact with the patients, and some of them really would open up to me...something about not doning that white coat put them at ease. maybe you can find something similar in Marlborough.
     
  12. newfocus

    newfocus Senior Member

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    Here is a post that I placed on an earlier thread, but it applies to your question too.

    I am a sophmore/junior at UMKC and I currently work at Childrens Mercy Hospital in the ER as an ER tech. I got the job through a doctor that I go to church with who is an attending there. They also occasionally hire people with out such refrences. I would say about 80% of the ER tech staff are pre-meds. And 4 of them (my roomate included) got accepted to medical school this fall

    Let me tell you a little bit about the job itself. There are 4 main things that you do; triage, patients in romms, secretay and float. Floating is by far the coolest thats when you get to help the residents and attendings with procedures. Since I work at a childrens hospital I do alot of restraining (my freinds call me the ER bouncer). For example if a kid comes in wiht a forehead lac I will hold his/her head still will the Dr. sutures it up. Or I might hold a hand or an arm if a nurse needs to draw blood or start an IV. (you can do those kind of things yourself if you take a phlebotomy course). Another cool thing about floating is you get to respond to the traumas. When the ambulance calls in you prep the trauma room for the incoming patient. Then once they arive you stand there and get the Doc's whatever they need (youd beeter have the trauma room memorized because they start yelling commands at you left and right). Next is triage (most peoples least favorite) here you take the patients vitals among arriving to the ER, then you put them in the computer and send them back out into the waiting room to be called back. Again since I work at a childrens hospital this envolves takinng about a million rectal temps a night . Then you have patients in rooms. This job is basically what it says, you go out to the waiting room get patients and bring them back to a room. And once another patient leaves, you go in, clean the room and put another patient in it. During this shift you are responsible for knowing at all times what rooms are filled and what rooms are available. Finally you have secretary (which really sucks at first but gets better with time) here you basically just set at the desk, answer the phones, take referrals, put referrals in the computer and enter lab orders in the computer. You are also responsable for paging defferent specialty Docs that may be needed throughout the night.

    So there you have the basic run down. And I would say it is probably consistant throughout most hospitals. I would definatly recomend any pre-med to try to get a job at a hospital. And if at all possible request to be in the ER you will get the most experience by far!! The things I have learned are invaluable! Not to mention the realationships I have established with the attending physicians (which will come in very handy when I need my rec letters) Well I hoped this helped you out. If you have any furhter questions let me know. GOOD LUCK

    ~Brad

     

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