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VA hospital volunteering - which position is best?

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questionsgalore

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Hi SDN!

I need some clinical volunteering hours (I have next to none) and I need to decide between two positions at the VA hospital: volunteering at the emergency department or in the hospice wing. Which do you think would be best? I have a lot of shadowing under my belt, but most was in the OR when patients were anesthetized.

Thanks!
 

LizzyM

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I have rather limited experience with the VA but from what I recall, the emergency department was a snooze because in a 911 emergency someone is taken to the nearest hospital capable of caring for the patient without regard to vet status (you don't check for veteran status before loading the patient onto the rig). The emergency department was mostly a conduit for people who called the doc and were directed to come to the hospital to be evaluated on an urgent basis (rather than having an elective admission for a non-emergent problem). So it may be very quiet compared with a community hospital emergency department.

Hospice is sobering. It is quiet in that there are no crash carts and rushing around. However, to be with the dying and their families has been a formative experience for many applicants I've talked with at interviews and it might be a place that will keep you busy making a difference for vets and their families.
 

DrDwayneJohnson

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I agree with LizzyM. I volunteered in a VA ED and it was pretty similar to an urgent care.
 

DBC03

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I had a great clinical volunteering experience because the coordinator encouraged me to go with a position that was on a floor and not with the ED. It sounds like LizzyM's descriptions are very helpful and that you would have more hands on experience with hospice?
 

BombsAway

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Do both. Once I got my badge I was free to wander around asking charge nurses and clinic directors if they could use a hand with anything. All were happy to oblige.
 

@Hazel-rah

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Please make use of the resources from the We Honor Veterans program, no matter what you choose
We Honor Veterans
Thank you for serving veterans! Let us know how it goes! (I would recommend hospice over ED fwiw)
 
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