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Is this considered clinical experience?

golgi body

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    I volunteered with an organization that set up flu vaccine clinics in local public schools. I was responsible for setting up and running the clinics, and our university's nursing students administered the actual vaccines. Would this be considered clinical experience? Since we are giving flu shots in a clinic setting, I feel like this would be more clinical than volunteering in a nursing home, for example (which I have seen is sometimes deemed as clinical on these forums).
     

    CyrilFiggis

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      I view this more as community service with a medical lean. Even in nursing homes there is a level of clinical and diagnostic medicine in the continued care of patients. When comparing clinical experiences, don't use the lowest common denominator. Even if you did that for 4 years and had 1000 hours, that wouldn't pass muster when compared to an applicant with 200 hours of ED volunteering or 50 hours or primary care shadowing. Programs want to see that you have exposure to the day-to-day of a physician.
       
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      NickNaylor

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        Is it clinical experience in the strict sense of the term? Sure, I suppose so. But it’s probably not the kind of “clinical experience” admissions committees are looking for. The experience itself is likely still worth including on your application - particularly if it’s a longitudinal thing rather than a one-time experience - but I agree with the above and would consider more to be community service than clinical experience.
         
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        LizzyM

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          Call it volunteer, non-clincial or call it volunteer, clinical but be sure you have some more traditional health care delivery experiences on your application as this alone is not sufficient to demonstrate that you know what a physician's day is like or that you like taking care of sick/injured people.
           
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          Catalystik

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            I volunteered with an organization that set up flu vaccine clinics in local public schools. I was responsible for setting up and running the clinics, and our university's nursing students administered the actual vaccines. Would this be considered clinical experience? Since we are giving flu shots in a clinic setting, I feel like this would be more clinical than volunteering in a nursing home, for example (which I have seen is sometimes deemed as clinical on these forums).
            Patients in skilled-level nursing homes tend to have multiple medical diagnoses overseen by a physician. Giving flu shots to healthy folks to keep them well doesn't compare, to my mind.
             
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            Goro

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              I view this more as community service with a medical lean. Even in nursing homes there is a level of clinical and diagnostic medicine in the continued care of patients. When comparing clinical experiences, don't use the lowest common denominator. Even if you did that for 4 years and had 1000 hours, that wouldn't pass muster when compared to an applicant with 200 hours of ED volunteering or 50 hours or primary care shadowing. Programs want to see that you have exposure to the day-to-day of a physician.
              I agree.
               
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              LizzyM

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                Patients in skilled-level nursing homes tend to have multiple medical diagnoses overseen by a physician.

                The same could be said for many people in the check-out line at Walmart. Working as a cashier there is not a clinical experience.

                If one is providing care that is dictated by doctor's orders (feeding a patient with swallowing difficulties who is on a pureed diet, or working as a patient care technician in a nursing home providing hands-on, intimate care) that could be called "clinical" but some of the services provided by volunteers in a nursing home, such as playing the piano or decorating the dining room, is not, in my mind, automatically a "clinical experience".
                 
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                Catalystik

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                  So you should be interacting with patients for it to be considered clinical? would you consider scribing a clinical experience? Scribes don’t interact with patients or give any direct care.
                  A scribe is providing a useful service in the context of a patient's current illness, even if direct communication isn't possible (ie, not allowed), similar to a surgical tech with an anesthetized patient, a physical therapy aide helping a PT or a hospice helper feeding a nonverbal stroke patient, etc. So I think most/ all would consider in-person scribing to be Clinical.
                   

                  LizzyM

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                    So you should be interacting with patients for it to be considered clinical? would you consider scribing a clinical experience? Scribes don’t interact with patients or give any direct care.

                    That's why my sig line definition of clinical experience does not require touching patients but being in very close proximity to them. The person should be in the persona of a "patient" when they are in your proximity and not a customer or a parishioner or a student, etc.
                     

                    CyrilFiggis

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                      Scribes don’t interact with patients or give any direct care.
                      The vast majority of volunteers don't provide direct care because you have no legal authority to do so. While a scribe may not touch or talk to a patient, they are taking part in numerous encounters, learning how to organize and take proper histories, and seeing the day to day schedule of the attending they work for. I said this initially, don't look for lowest denominator. I volunteered at two large academic hospitals and saw everything from thoracotomies to deliveries to TB pts. All of those informed my current path in med school as well as gave substantive anecdotes that were used throughout the application process - PS to secondaries to interviews. While I don't discredit your work, it is not true clinical exposure.
                       
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