asdasd12345

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i really want to start work on my volunteer stuff as soon as possible. i wonder if anyone has some advice on good organizations that will take volunteers who have asbolutely no idea on anything medical at all. one thing i really want to avoid if at all possible, maybe this sounds snobby, but i want to avoid cleaning up excrement and urine. is this what i should expect doing as a volunteer? also how do you go about shadowing a doctor, do you just call up an office and say "I would really like to shadow you around"?
 

Brickhouse

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You don't have to clean up after people as a volunteer - at least I never did.

Call your local hospital and see if they have a volunteer program. Also find the free clinics in the area and ask if they take volunteers. Both places will usually welcome your interest.
 

umass rower

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I got lucky, and at my local hospital I got to work directly with patients and/or doctors most of the time, and only had to do boring stuff (filing) when it was too slow around there to get me something better to do. Just go to the volunteer office (early if possible) and tell them any preferences you have, and they may be able to accomodate you to some extent.
 
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Athomeonarock

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The best advice i can give is try to get some medical training (EMT, CFR, CNA, med tech, anything) the world will open up to you. All sorts of jobs and volunteer opertunitys become availible. Also, its a great way to meet doctors. Once you find one in a specialty you like, and ask to shadow, most will say yes. Also, your family doctor(s) is a great resourse, i asked mine and he gave me a list of his friends, all who were more than happy to have someone tag along(as for cleaning nasty things, better get used to it in any medical field). Good luck
 

kiernin

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I really recommend looking for a free clinic, though it may be hard to find one of these unless you're in a city. I volunteer at one that serves San Francisco's sizable homeless population and I find that I have much more patient contact here than I have in some of my other volunteer experiences. I call patients in and do intake and vitals. Everything I write in the chart has to be signed off by a nurse, but at least I feel like I'm doing something productive instead of filing charts. Plus I'm getting a good education about common primary care type diseases. I just looked up the clinic online and called the medical director, saying that I was applying to medical school and wanted to volunteer there.

Other experiences I've had which were good were emergency room volunteering (though this was a special program through my undergrad school so we got to do more than we might have otherwise -- cleaning wounds and stuff) and volunteering for hospice, which usually allows one-on-one interaction between volunteers and patients. Hospice may not be the kind of thing that appeals to everyone, but I have a strong interest in oncology and end-of-life issues and I found it to be very instructive. I think you'll get more out of volunteer situations where there are fewer volunteers and more patients/doctors.
 

americanangel

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I agree with what everyone else said...
Call your local hospital or look for a free clinic. Most of the time, your school can get you in touch with either local free clinics or the volunteer department at your local hospital
I volunteer at the local children's hospital and I absolutely love it!! Just call and talk to people...they will point you in the right direction

Good luck
 

terpgirl

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Check to see if your school has a volunteer office--UMD does, and there is even a searchable database of oppotunities.

How about Make-a-Wish, or Special Olympics? Shows a human/caring/compassionate side--and they could always use volunteers. SO is great if you like sports--become a coach!
 
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