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Dec 17, 2020
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I am currently working part time as a Home Care Aide, where I go to a few senior's homes and help them out. My tasks include fairly "patient oriented" tasks such as reminding them to take their medication, help them keep track of and make calls for medical appointments, helping them get dressed, conversing and spending time with them, assistance with bathroom-related needs, helping them use an oxygen machine, etc. But it also includes more "housekeeping" chores such as doing their dishes, doing their sheets and laundry, light housekeeping, taking them out for a walk, etc.

There just seems to be so much nuance as to what can be considered clinical experience, and I am very lost as there is varying opinion even within SDN. Such as things hinging on whether they are called patients or residents, whether a healthcare professional is present, whether or not you can "smell" the patient hahah.

Some factors to consider for my particular case:
1) No doctors or nurses present, just me and the patient at their private residence.
2) Some people I get are recovering from a stroke or heart attack so I have no question calling them a patient and I guess classifying it as clinical experience. But others might be a paraplegic or someone who requires long-term chronic care, and I am not sure if that is a "patient"? Although the term client and patient is used interchangeably from my supervisor. ("We have a client at x for you", "make sure the patient is comfortable with you doing y", etc.
3) Classified as a healthcare worker and essential employee for purposes of COVID pandemic curfew, although I don't think we are priority for the COVID vaccine :((.
4) Many of the patients are through the VA so they are veterans, so my services I believe are mostly covered by insurance.
4) I am planning on getting a lot of shadowing hours, since I believe this part time job would give me a lot of patient care exposure, but no hospital/physician exposure and interaction at all. After college graduation during a gap year(s), I may try to work as a scribe or in a physician's office though.

I can provide more info and clarification if needed. Thanks!
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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This is one of those gray zones. You are providing some services that would be similar to those provided by a patient care technician (sometimes called nurse's aide) in a hospital setting but you are working alone, not as part of a team, and in private homes rather than in a setting where there are numerous patients. Some application readers will consider it clinical and some will not so you will need some other clinical exposure, including shadowing, to be sure you have the clnical "box" checked.
 
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Dec 17, 2020
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This is one of those gray zones. You are providing some services that would be similar to those provided by a patient care technician (sometimes called nurse's aide) in a hospital setting but you are working alone, not as part of a team, and in private homes rather than in a setting where there are numerous patients. Some application readers will consider it clinical and some will not so you will need some other clinical exposure, including shadowing, to be sure you have the clnical "box" checked.
Thank you for the quick and detailed response, LizzyM. That's exactly what I thought, since it very well seems to be a grey zone.

Would you classify this experience as a clinical paid employment or non-clinical paid employment when filling out med school applications? Would you say that this work experience, coupled with extensive physician shadowing, is sufficient in terms of clinical related activities? I feel that I learn a lot in terms of patient care in this job, but I'm willing to perhaps find another job that has perhaps physician interaction or is in a hospital setting if needed.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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I always recommend "down-coding". If you call it non-clinical and someone disagrees you'll get credit for working with "patients". If you call it "clinical" and someone disagrees with that classification, they'll ding your application for claiming something that they don't believe to be accurate. Don't fall into that trap.
 
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