Avicenna

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5+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2012
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Pre-Medical
I'm volunteering at a hospital this semester to bolster my AMCAS with some clinical volunteering hours. At this hospital, I have the option to volunteer at various parts of the hospital, such as Central Supply and Ambulatory Care Center. I chose to volunteer at the Pharmacy.

Was this selection unwise? I fear that adcoms will find this volunteer position more suitable for Pre-pharm students. Should I try to find a more central position in the hospital to volunteer, maybe with more patient interaction?
 
May 10, 2013
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Pre-Medical
In order for it to count as meaningful clinical experience, you do need to have some type of interaction with patients. I don't think it's enough to just be in a healthcare setting. If possible, I would try to do something that allows you to talk to patients.
 

mik30102

7+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2011
726
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NY
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Medical Student
I would advise to get a different position in the hospital, though it can be really hard to find one with patient contact. I agree with your concern that this is really for pre pharm and not pre med.
 

Odi

Jan 8, 2014
165
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Pre-Medical
I am curious too because I volunteer as a pharmacy tech. My idea is it helps me with my EMT job of knowing what drugs a patient is on and why.
Working as an EMT >>>>> any type of patient interaction a hospital can give to a volunteer.

Regarding OP, when I started volunteering at a hospital I was given the option to volunteer in the ER, pharmacy, or gift shop (lol). I went with ER and was extremely satisfied with the amount of patient interaction I had. At times I'd be helping the patient get settled into their room and the DO or PA (rarely MD) would come in, close the door, and start assessing them while I was still in the room. So I also got a chance to unofficially shadow.

During busy hours I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off; helping patients get admitted, walking them to the back, getting supplies for the nurses and the desk, cleaning rooms (some with sheets covered in blood and urine--probably from a urine catheterization) and in rare cases interacting with patients with traumatic injuries that came running into the ER (motorcycle accidents and a couple pit bull attacks). When a code blue would come up the nurses would let me run to the back and watch the doctors work on the cardiac arrest. With that said, not everyday there was Gung-ho... some days I was doing minimal work.

I loved it. I can't speak for other departments, but I would highly recommend trying to get into the ER at any hospital you can get into... not just for your medical school applications sake, but for your own. It's very rewarding.






Strong 1st post^
 

frosted_flake

waaahmbulance attendant
Oct 27, 2012
1,151
737
Los Angeles
Status
Pre-Medical
Working as an EMT >>>>> any type of patient interaction a hospital can give to a volunteer.

Regarding OP, when I started volunteering at a hospital I was given the option to volunteer in the ER, pharmacy, or gift shop (lol). I went with ER and was extremely satisfied with the amount of patient interaction I had. At times I'd be helping the patient get settled into their room and the DO or PA (rarely MD) would come in, close the door, and start assessing them while I was still in the room. So I also got a chance to unofficially shadow.

During busy hours I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off; helping patients get admitted, walking them to the back, getting supplies for the nurses and the desk, cleaning rooms (some with sheets covered in blood and urine--probably from a urine catheterization) and in rare cases interacting with patients with traumatic injuries that came running into the ER (motorcycle accidents and a couple pit bull attacks). When a code blue would come up the nurses would let me run to the back and watch the doctors work on the cardiac arrest. With that said, not everyday there was Gung-ho... some days I was doing minimal work.

I loved it. I can't speak for other departments, but I would highly recommend trying to get into the ER at any hospital you can get into... not just for your medical school applications sake, but for your own. It's very rewarding.






Strong 1st post^
Hey!
I work full time as an EMT, but some of my volunteer work consists of volunteering as a tech in a pharmacy. I kind of consider the Pharmacy stuff non-clinical, because I am practically in a dungeon mixing antibiotics into bags of fluid and meticulously counting pills into a baggie, I never come into contact with patients. I could never be a Pharmacist :annoyed:
 

mik30102

7+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2011
726
538
NY
Status
Medical Student
Hey!
I work full time as an EMT, but some of my volunteer work consists of volunteering as a tech in a pharmacy. I kind of consider the Pharmacy stuff non-clinical, because I am practically in a dungeon mixing antibiotics into bags of fluid and meticulously counting pills into a baggie, I never come into contact with patients. I could never be a Pharmacist :annoyed:
Hence my switch to medicine :p. I volunteer in the local ER but the hospitals near me don't let me do to much. Best position I found is where I handle guiding visitors to the patients room, and give them ID badges. Unfortunately its highly hospital dependent on what your actually going to be allowed to do with patients. I feel adcoms understand this though.