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Interesting volunteer work?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by millersvillemed, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. millersvillemed

    millersvillemed 2+ Year Member

    May 22, 2008
    I just started volunteering at the local hospital, transporting patients. I really want to do some more up close, possibly ER work.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what kinds of volunteer work aren't mind numbingly boring, and actually do provide a good experience, one worth writing about?

    One of my friends, a surgery tech, said I could probably help in the OR while volunteering, and I am observing a surgery in the near future. Anyone know of any volunteer jobs in surgery, or other interesting places?
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  3. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman 2+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    California *\o/*
    Yeah, you and every other pre-med.
  4. Twiigg

    Twiigg Banned

    Nov 18, 2007
    A distant tree..
    If you're not about to graduate, I'd just bide my time if I were you. The hospital at which I volunteer usually has you begin volunteering with little patient (or doctor) contact. I, too, had to transport patients for quite a while, but once they see you are committed and make all your appointments, they usually will let you move to another position after a while. In fact, after 6 months of transferring patients, they let me pick any area of the hospital to move to for another 6 months. I chose the OR, and it's been a blast. In another couple of months they'll let me switch again.

    Hope that helps. :)
  5. RunShare

    RunShare 10+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    New Jersey
    If you have any free clinics in your area, they tend to be more hands-on. I see patients by myself (I just don't treat anything).
  6. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D 5+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    just ask the coordinator for a more hands-on position. you don't have to wait 6 months or a week even. do it as soon as you can before the hospital get swamped with other summer volunteers and moving people around to different departments gets difficult.

    if you need ideas for specific interesting jobs at that hospital, ask the staff you have established a relationship with
  7. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The Falls
    Have you thought about running for SDN mod? I hear it's a very unique job, one where you get to learn alot about organizing, administrating, doing some housekeeping as well. You should try to contact some of the mods and ask them how to become one!

    Good luck! It's a very hard position to get. ;)
  8. FuturePharm21

    FuturePharm21 7+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    my hospital volunteering coordinator said I couldn't volunteer in ER/OR or anything clinical since "the dept. head" doesn't want volunteers AND I'm SO MAD since I've volunteered for 2 years and now all the other hospitals are FULL...should I still volunteer on the floors helping out nurses or that's not worth it?
  9. 135892

    135892 Guest 2+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    :laugh: good one

    But yeah, free clinics are always another possibilty. I volunteer in a free clinic, and just do the basic history, blood pressure, pulse, etc... type things, and its alright. Its not super exciting, but I guess it beats filing some papers in a hospital.
  10. FuturePharm21

    FuturePharm21 7+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    where do you find local clinics in a suburb lol? is there a site or somewhere i can call to look up a free clinic?
  11. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The Falls
    Why thank you. :)
  12. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Yes! Helping the floor nurses puts you right up there with the patients. Most patient time isn't relegated to the ER/OR, it's on the floors. Floor time is clinical volunteering.

    You could also fill in the volunteer forms at other hospitals, even though the positions are currently filled. Since you already have 2 years under your belt, your application may move through more quickly once there is an opening. It wouldn't hurt anything to try.
  13. perutz

    perutz 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    Perhaps some premed long long ago ruined it for you guys at that hospital?

    If all they're having you do on the floors is file paperwork or restock, then perhaps it's not worthwhile but if you're allowed to visit/interact with patients (often by handing out water pitchers, blankets, helping them with reading) then I'd say its a worthwhile experience. It's spending time with patients/showing you're able to be comfortable around them that matters more both for your application and to an infinitely greater extent, to see if you would actually want to do this professionally.
  14. fattymangox03

    fattymangox03 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    are you looking for med-related volunteer exclusively?

    if not, i would definitely recommend Alternative Spring Break type work, if your school has the organization on campus. you basically fundraise for a semester, then over spring break go to a site and volunteer there for a week. i did a similar program (but not over spring break; i went after classes ended) and had the most rewarding 2 weeks of my undergrad career :)
  15. THX

    THX New Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    It depends on the hospital, but try volunteering in the intensive care unit. I did and I'm emphasizing it everywhere. I had full responsibility (alone) of the entire ICU waiting room. It was stressful, intense, fast paced but it was an INCREDIBLE experience. I got used to the ward pretty quickly, but it was tough at first because almost everyone is on life support.

    Here's some stuff I had to deal with:
    • Dealt with an Intoxicated man making threats
    • Drug addicts impersonating others
    • Withdrawals from life support (too many) - Tough, the family members just rush in and are totally distraught. I was jumping out of my skin the first time I had to deal with this.
    • Keeping families informed about surgeries (a few times a shift)
    • Dealing with families who's loved one just helicoptered in for emergency surgery
    • Relaying information from nurses regarding the procedures they are doing on patients (all the time)
    • etc

    It's pretty intense stuff and I every shift I'm left to sink or swim. But the experience I had is >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> whatever everyone else does. Try to get a spot in the ICU if you can, it's a great experience and you will learn a lot about yourself.
  16. FuturePharm21

    FuturePharm21 7+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    thanks, i'll ask about ICU since ER is not an option, hopefully ICU will be a yes, but otherwise I will stick to nursing floor/helping patients...

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