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Volunteering at Covid-19 Sites Clinical Volunteering?

coasterfan12

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
4
1
  1. Pre-Medical
    Hello,

    For the past few months, I have volunteered for my county by helping at COVID testing and (more recently) vaccination sites. I find it very enjoyable, as I get to be part of the COVID-19 relief efforts. However, I am unsure whether this constitutes clinical experience. My duties include helping people register, directing them in line, and answering questions that they may have. So, would this activity be considered a clinical or non-clinical experience?
     

    LizzyM

    the evil queen of numbers
    Verified Expert
    15+ Year Member
    Mar 7, 2005
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    1. Academic Administration
      This is one of those gray areas. These people aren't patients and the activity is preventive services (vaccines) or screening tests (asypmtomatic person tested for the purpose of early detection) that may be outside of clinical settings (some of these functions are being done in mall parking lots, schools, etc).
      On the other hand, you are dealing with people who are seeking a clincial service and who may not be at their best due to aggravation, anxiety, fear, and so forth. Dealing with those folks is a learning experience that is valuable whether you call it "clinical" or "non-clinical".

      I tend to suggest calling it "non-clinical" and letting adcoms upgrade it if they are so inclined rather than calling it "clinical" and having an adcom member think that you are inflating something that they don't think is clinical because it isn't within a hospital/clinic setting.
       
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      amm16

      Full Member
    • Apr 23, 2020
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      1. Pre-Medical
        This is one of those gray areas. These people aren't patients and the activity is preventive services (vaccines) or screening tests (asypmtomatic person tested for the purpose of early detection) that may be outside of clinical settings (some of these functions are being done in mall parking lots, schools, etc).
        On the other hand, you are dealing with people who are seeking a clincial service and who may not be at their best due to aggravation, anxiety, fear, and so forth. Dealing with those folks is a learning experience that is valuable whether you call it "clinical" or "non-clinical".

        I tend to suggest calling it "non-clinical" and letting adcoms upgrade it if they are so inclined rather than calling it "clinical" and having an adcom member think that you are inflating something that they don't think is clinical because it isn't within a hospital/clinic setting.
        I'm totally fine with marking it as non-clinical (at the end of the day, this is all about helping people--especially during COVID), but is the distinction the location? Some of the sites I've been to are clinics that are typically used for primary care, which have now been converted into vaccination sites. But then again some sites are just any big building available. Thanks so much for your advice!
         

        DoctoOcto

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        Jul 30, 2019
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        1. Pre-Medical
          I'm totally fine with marking it as non-clinical (at the end of the day, this is all about helping people--especially during COVID), but is the distinction the location? Some of the sites I've been to are clinics that are typically used for primary care, which have now been converted into vaccination sites. But then again some sites are just any big building available. Thanks so much for your advice!

          I think it's one of those things that can be a great supplement to a "main" clinical experience, but is a very weak (if it is at all) clinical experience on its own. The point of clinical experience is to get exposed to what a physician does/how a healthcare system functions, and COVID testing/vaccinating doesn't really do that (IMO).
           
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