I'm 30 years old and considering a career change and have some reserves regarding being able to do it with all this competition out there.... I've been out of school for almost a decade and I went to an info session for an Accelerated BSN and there were people who had finished grad school, and had 3.9 GPAs etc... a little intimidating.
Anyway, I wanted to know if it's possible to volunteer in hospitals in order to get some experience and if so , what would they allow you to do when you have no experience in the medical field? I don't really want to be a volunteer in the gift shop or something like that...
Is there anyone that was in my situation and can give me some insight into their experience?
Also if you know of any hospitals where they would accept volunteers who are trying to figure out if the medical field is the right area for them...
Oct 10, '11
Some hospitals have volunteer programs specifically for nursing or medical-track students. These programs required background checks, proof of educational track and a time commitment. I talked to some of the volunteers in this type of program. They were not directly involved with medical procedures, had their share of tasks like filing and stocking but they were allowed to observe much more closely for the purposes of furthering their education. They definitely got a lot of face time with the employees and management, and were in a good position to show their work ethic and enthusiasm.
Also, do not discount volunteer opportunities that are not labeled specifically for nursing students. Any volunteer position that allows you to be in a patient care area can provide valuable insights and contacts, even if all you are doing is passing out magazines to patients. I remember a couple of volunteers who really impressed me because they took the time to talk to the patients and went out of their way to report something that seemed amiss. One of the quotes I try to live by is "Bloom where you are planted." Other volunteers will just pass out candy and menus, you can do much more.
Oct 10, '11
Thank you so much for your reply! After I posted that I decided to look around and I found one such volunteer program that seemed very interesting and I signed up for their next available interview: Nov 30th! I also found 2 other volunteering opportunities which don't seem like they're for nursing students, but like you said, it'll be an opportunity to gain some insight.
Btw, love that quote!