Question about hospital volunteering

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by kdoc19, Jul 16, 2017.

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  1. kdoc19

    kdoc19

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    Jan 13, 2017
    I'm going to be a high school junior and I am considering volunteering at a nearby hospital. My fall is already pretty busy and so I'm wondering if it's worth it to volunteer. I know that med schools don't look at anything I do now, but would it still look good on a college app? I'm already pretty sure I want to be a doctor I just want to be exposed to more of the medical field and this is a good opportunity to do that. Thanks!!

    Also if anyone has volunteered at a hospital what is it like? Do you actually get to see a lot of procedures/real medical work or is it mostly helping with patients, running errands, etc?
     
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  3. Whole Wheat

    Whole Wheat

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    Jul 10, 2017
    hSDN Member
    Of course it looks good on your application. As long as you do meaningful things and dedicate a lot of time to it. And for the most part, you're most likely not going to see any procedures, real medical work, but that's my experience. For example I applied to my position, and there's other positions I can apply to volunteer in, but I admit/discharge patients, deliver flowers and mail, and assist with transport of patients belonging in/out.
    If you want a view on real medical work or procedures, shadowing or internships(maybe) would be your best bet as you're directly observing a physician and his duties.

    I'm not too sure how busy you actually are but if you really want to get volunteering in, it's a good thing you found about that before your junior year started. Most juniors have to worry about taking more advanced classes and studying/taking SATs and ACTs. (Honestly I would get used to concurrently volunteering/shadowing and juggling difficult coursework)
     
  4. AttemptingScholar

    AttemptingScholar

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    Apr 1, 2016
    You can mention meaningful high school activities if continued into college on med school apps anyways, you would put total hours. You could put it on both!

    And it depends where you are in the hospital. What department would you be in?
     
  5. kdoc19

    kdoc19

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    Jan 13, 2017
    Thanks for the feedback!! I would be all over doing a variety of tasks, but I know that I would be assisting in the ER and nursing units with general patient care.
     
    AttemptingScholar likes this.
  6. AttemptingScholar

    AttemptingScholar

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    Apr 1, 2016
    It sounds like you'll be in the hospital, not back in records or admin so you'll definitely get patient contact. There's a lot to learn just by watching! I bet it will be a great experience.
     
  7. oelizas

    oelizas

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    Apr 13, 2017
    hSDN Member
    I'm in a different department than you, which makes a difference, but I will just describe my own experience to give you an idea of what your role may be. Also, I usually only work for four hours a week, so for me it's not time consuming at all.

    I work on the oncology nursing floor, which has mostly geriatric patients at my hospital. When I go in, I am assigned to a patient care tech, and I basically act as their assistant. Techs are responsible for the day to day care of the patients staying there, which includes feeding them, bathing them, dressing them, bringing them water/snacks, reporting potential issues to their nurse, doing vitals, and other things like that. This is generally what I do. So far, the only thing that a tech has done that I was not allowed to do was finger sticks for diabetic patients. I'm still allowed to help out with this though, like by using the machine after the tech pricks the patient's finger. That probably doesn't sound too interesting but when you're there it's actually pretty cool. The closest I've got to an actual "procedure" is when I was outside the door of someone getting a PICC Line put in. haha Volunteering has given be a better idea of what it's like to be a nurse or tech than what it is like to be a doctor, but it's interesting and you definitely get patient exposure. You're in the ER though, so it's possible that you may see some more unusual things.

    I'm super tired right now so I feel like this has been a really sloppy description. If you want more info just message me, I have a shift tomorrow morning so I'll have more details that will be fresh in my mind. To put it simply, you will definitely get patient exposure but you probably won't see any fancy procedures. For that, you can look into shadowing a physician. Good luck!
     
  8. Premed2295

    Premed2295

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    Sep 2, 2017
    My local hospital let High Schools students observe and pass snacks but not be involved in patients care at all. But it was still an awesome experience and affirmed for me that I wanted to be pre-med before I left for college. Do it if you can, and be really friendly. You might get to know a physician and it will open up chance to shadow or assist later on. (Many places have rules about being 180
     
  9. Spectral

    Spectral Banned

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    Sep 2, 2017
    Earth
    hSDN Member
    How many volunteer hours should I go for before I go to college, and which activities should I do to count towards those amount of hours?
     
  10. Premed2295

    Premed2295

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    Sep 2, 2017
    I would say volunteer as many hours as you can, without it interfering with your other commitments. The more the better, but ultimately academics matter more. I would say maybe start with one evening a week or one weekend afternoon and do more if you can/ if you love it. Do more hours during the summer too :)
    And I would say count time you spend in the hospital toward hours. And if they give you work to bring home, its unlikely but if they do, that time counts. Don't count travel time.
     
  11. aformerstudent

    aformerstudent probationary status 4life

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    Mar 7, 2017
    Hospital volunteering at your age is the way to go. Beyond observing, you have the opportunity to make some important connections. For me, my volunteer gig led to a job.

    When volunteering at this age, focus on observing more than trying to get as much patient interaction as possible. You're a minor, they're not going to let you do much to begin with but you can observe as much as you want. Always be proactive.
     
  12. FirmResolve1!

    FirmResolve1!

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Volunteering at a local underserved health clinic is also a good option if you ever were to decide that you wanted clinical volunteering outside of the hospital.
     
    WhyNeedAName likes this.
  13. WhyNeedAName

    WhyNeedAName

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    Apr 9, 2017
    Personally, if you want to stand out a bit more, try volunteering at a health clinic for low income areas. I tried to volunteer at a hospital, but so many people volunteer there (even people who don't even want to be in medicine) it kinda doesn't mean much unless you had done 500hrs of volunteering there.
    With a clinic, you get to have patient interactions like crazy.. I'm talking about actually knowing the patients. And if it's in the inner cities/ low income area, then the clinic probably holds events to help out the neighborhood. I volunteered at one in the ghettos of Miami and I remember helping out with free turkeys for Thanksgiving, gift drives around Christmas, and back to school drives for kids. It helps a lot when you write you college apps, and it shows that you care about the communities. Also, 200hrs from a clinic like that is cooler than 500hrs from the hospital.
     

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