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Volunteer work...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jasmineH, Aug 13, 2000.

  1. jasmineH

    jasmineH Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2000
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    Just curious, When some of you have volunteered in the hospitals, ER or any place, What exactly do they have you doing and generally how long are you there per day?
  2. At my hospital I do phlebotomy and EKG tech.

    I recently worked at the NIH doing research on MRI and tried to get them to let me run the MRI scanner but unfortunately you have to have some sort of certification to do that, even though I should know much more about how MRI works than a common technician would.

    Total volunteer time per week: 15-20 hours.

    It is possible to get a paid position in some hospitals doing the stuff I listed above. However, at my hospital they expected a full time commitment of 40 hours per week. I tried it for 2 semesters and survived with a slight dip in GPA, but now working on research won't allow that kind of load.

    I must admit that the tendency these days is to collapse these rather limited job duties (e.g. phlebotomy, EKG tech, EEG tech) to nursing responsibilities. Without any kind of certification or official training, it takes longer to actually establish yourself enough as a volunteer to perform some clinical duties.

    If you are just starting out, I would recommend you find a small clinic to work at instead of a large urban hospital. You should find that the doctors have much more time to get to know you and the small community environment makes it easier to make yourself known and hopefully get good clinical exposure. After that point its much easier to make the transition to a large hospital ER if thats where you'd rather be.

    "There is nothing more powerful on this Earth as a man who has nothing to lose. It does not take ten such men to change the world--one will do." Elijah Mohammed
  3. RL@UT

    [email protected] Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2000
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    I work full time at a medical school on an NIH funded grant to study rare auto-immune diseases, and I also work part-time as a medical assistant in a small local hospital.

    I consider myself very fortunate to have this balance in my working life: I have a good understanding of the rigors and YES, tribulations of academic medicine while at the the same time, I can see how these advances can be applied to the treament of disease processes--When I ask "What's the point of all this?" I usually get my answer of practical, vivid terms.

    This is all a balancing act and I devote two weekends a months (32 hrs.) to my part-time job, go to school, work full time, enjoy a relationship, friends and hobbies---I have learned to juggle, and fulfill all at the same time--it has been worth it, and it will be in the future.

    Good Luck
  4. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2000
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    Fellow [Any Field]

    I volunteer at two hospitals. The first is a rehab hospital and I work on the pediatric floor. My duties are primarily non-medical in nature, basically just assisting the nurses in day-to-day pt care and interacting with the kids. Its a great way to build your interpersonal skills and develop your technique for dealing with pts. And dealing with the kids, even if its sorta depressing sometimes with some of the more serious cases, is always rewarding. The second position is "Assistant Orderly" at a trauma center. This is where I get to participate in medical activities. Because I'm an EMT and because I've made it clear that I intend to become a physician I'm allowed not only to observe basically any procedure I want, I also get to participate when warranted. Its not always the interesting stuff, I do alot of patient transport, but even then I get to talk with the patients and work on my primary care skills.

    All in all, alot of hard work, but its great experience and I've really learned what hospital life is all about.

    Good luck.


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