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Question about volunteering.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by time md, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. time md

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    I am trying to find a hospital to volunteer at during this summer. I got on my local hospital's website and it said that volunteers would be working the gift shop. Needless to say I was hoping for a little more clinical experience. Was this the kind of things that you guys had to do? Please describe some of your volunteer activities and how you went about applying for them.

    Thanks
     
  2. em783

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    Don't volunteer in the gift shop. You can definitely request to volunteer in a department that is a little more clinically relevant. During the volunteer orientation, a lot of hospitals have programs for pre-med students like Medical Outreach programs, where they rotate you in different departments like Post-Op, Medical Records, Greeting room stuff. And at least there you get some contact with patients and get to observe. A lot of it involves wheeling patients around, but, hey- we all have to pay our dues!

    Also, if you have access to one, I would highly reccomend volunteering in a Free Clinic/Community clinic. I just found some numbers online and in a phone book, and they are ALWAYS in dire need of more volunteers so they are extremely appreciative. Because everyone (including the physicians) are there on a strictly volunteer basis, there is a lot to learn and a lot of chaos that goes on around those clinics so they often give you various duties like filing charts, creating new patient files, translating, prescription calls, and so on.
     
  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    Our local hospital also starts most volunteers off in the gift shop. After investing an entire semester in this, one might have a shot at more clinically relevant activities. Consider instead, possibly, a county nursing home. There you will be able to interact with a broad range of people, from the healthy elderly, to end-stage dementias and other neurologic diseases, to young paraplegics and others who cannot care for themselves at home.

    Other possibilities are volunteer positions with hospice care, a Planned Parenthood Clinic, Migrant Workers Clinic, or a medical-student run free clinic.
     
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  4. IDBasco

    IDBasco Atypical agent
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    OP- I don't know how many hospitals there are in your area, but I found myself in the same boat. I had pretty much given up hope of volunteering in a clinical setting. Then, by random chance, I found out a hospital 30 miles down the road allows volunteers in the ED. Prior to that, I had barely even heard of the hospital. My advice is to keep looking and don't be afraid to drive a few miles if its for the right situation.
     
  5. gujuDoc

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    I'd look for a free clinic to volunteer in. Also are there other hospitals in the area?? If not that see if there is a Red Cross office nearby and you can volunteer there.

    Other options include training as an EMT-B and volunteering as one afterwards.
     
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  6. OP
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    time md

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    There are a couple more hospitals with in 30-40 miles and I am going to check them out. There are also a few nursuing homes so I will also see about them. I am not sure about a volunteer clinic, but I will check into it. I hope that I can figure something out.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  7. gujuDoc

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    Ohh that reminds me hospice centers are good too.
     
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  8. Arc

    Arc
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    I somehow scored volunteer work wheeling patients around, and pharmacy work at Kaiser. If you can't land something in a hospital, there is always hospice centers, clinics, or seinor/nursing homes. It may not be glamorous, but its something.

    And a tip of advice, apply to a lot of places for volunteer work, there's plety of people wanting to do hospital volunteer work for various reasons.
     
  9. OP
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    time md

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    Well, after some searching I have found 8 nursing homes and a hospice location in my area. I will start making phone calls this week, and hopefully by summer I will have a volunteer job.

    Thanks you guys, your help is greatly appreciated.
     

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