Apr 19, 2012
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Which looks better on an app?

Both appeal to me in different ways-- the hospital is exciting, and the prospect of eventually volunteering in the ER or ob/gyn is awesome. The clinic, on the other hand, would have more patient contact and working with underserved populations would definitely be more satisfying. In sum, I've done both previously and both are equally feasible.

I'm a career changer, if that helps at all.
 
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realmeaning
Apr 19, 2012
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Awesome. Thanks for the quick reply, guys.
 
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realmeaning
Apr 19, 2012
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They would be the same. Just make sure you interact with patients and physicians and you'll be set. :thumbup:
Ooh I just thought of something-- the hospital where I'd volunteer at is new, so I'd be starting over doing admin stuff, probably. If I only have a year there, do you think I'd have time to get to have more patient/MD contact?
 
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realmeaning
Apr 19, 2012
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Are you already working at the clinic? You can learn valuable things in admin (Medicare and Medicaid billing), but your time is best spent interacting with patients and docs. If you think you'd get more interaction with paper at the hospital opt for the clinic.
Nope, haven't started either, I've just worked at a different clinic in the past. Thanks for the advice.
 
May 3, 2011
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It's all dependent on what each place has to offer in your area. As a previous poster stated, if you're going to be stuck doing clerical type work at the hospital and/or carts, etc...you're best bet would be a clinic. I've never volunteered at a hospital, but I've been volunteering at a free clinic since last year. As long as the directors aren't sticklers and you end up in a welcoming, educational one - it'll be a great combination of clinical experience (processing pts, vitals, etc..), some shadowing and valuable information sessions from the doctors.
 

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
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Apr 21, 2012
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The hospitals I volunteer at had a lot of patient interaction, even to people who just started volunteering, with no experience. Maybe you're not looking at the right places or maybe you haven't asked the right people?
 

sworzeh

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Mar 21, 2011
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Split the difference and do both. It's what I did :D
 

ILikeDrugs

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Jul 19, 2008
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Situation 1:

Person A: Volunteers at hospital, sits behind ICU desk answering the phone and lets in guests by pushing the button to open the automatic doors. Has nothing meaningful to write/discuss about this experience in the application/interview.

Person B: Volunteers at a clinic, took basic vitals, got to know a lot of the patients on a personal level, got to know the physicians and had a real good insight into the field of medicine. Has a lot of meaningful things to discuss about this experience in the application/interview.


Situation 2:

Person A: Volunteers at hospital, took basic vitals, got to know a lot of the patients on a personal level, got to know the physicians and had a real good insight into the field of medicine. Has a lot of meaningful things to write/discuss about this experience in the application/interview.

Person B: Volunteers at a clinic, sits behind a desk answering the phone and greets guests. Has nothing meaningful to right about this experience in their application.

The location doesn't matter. Do you get what I'm saying?
 

sotto voce

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May 13, 2012
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It's all dependent on what each place has to offer in your area. As a previous poster stated, if you're going to be stuck doing clerical type work at the hospital and/or carts, etc...you're best bet would be a clinic. I've never volunteered at a hospital, but I've been volunteering at a free clinic since last year. As long as the directors aren't sticklers and you end up in a welcoming, educational one - it'll be a great combination of clinical experience (processing pts, vitals, etc..), some shadowing and valuable information sessions from the doctors.
I was never really comfortable with random pre-med volunteers taking vitals and such. That would never be allowed in a hospital, so why should be it allowed in a clinic? You get to learn how to take bps because the patients don't have the means to pay? It's the same thing when you hear about a pre-med assisting in surgeries in undeveloped countries...it's just unsettling. If you want to answer phones and greet patients at the clinic, that's fine. But if you want to play a relatively important role in the treatment of a human being, I say go get some training first.
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2011
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was never really comfortable with random pre-med volunteers taking vitals and
such. That would never be allowed in a hospital, so why should be it allowed in
a clinic? You get to learn how to take bps because the patients don't have the
means to pay? It's the same thing when you hear about a pre-med assisting in
surgeries in undeveloped countries...it's just unsettling. If you want to answer
phones and greet patients at the clinic, that's fine. But if you want to play a
relatively important role in the treatment of a human being, I say go get some
training first.
Didn't mention I'm an EMT, so there's really no reason for it to be unsettling to anyone (except for learning how to use an ear thermometer)
 
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realmeaning
Apr 19, 2012
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Wherever I go, I realize I have to be proactive, so thanks ILikeDrugs.

Sworzeh, I think I'll copy you and do both to see which I like best. Cheers, guys.
 

sotto voce

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May 13, 2012
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Didn't mention I'm an EMT, so there's really no reason for it to be unsettling to anyone (except for learning how to use an ear thermometer)
I mean in general, not necessarily for you. There are pre-meds who come to the clinic and expect to be able to work intimately with patients--taking vitals, medical histories, etc. I'm not saying that what CNAs do is incredibly important or difficult, but it takes at least some training.