which one should i pick?

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    Hello everyone. I've been out of work for awhile and i know that if i want to go back to work, i have to take a lot of courses and that I also have to volunteer so i can start to network. It makes sense to volunteer at the hospital near my house since i'll be able to network there and hopefully meet some nurses that can help me obtain a job there someday but i'm quite discouraged by the fact that hospital volunteers are only allowed to do menial things like bring ice to patients, feed them, bring them newspapers/books, etc. I found another volunteer work at a free clinic which is 45 minutes away from my residence but there i get to do more stuff, like taking VS, doing bloodworks, administer injections.......basically i get to do anything a clinic nurse does without getting paid.

    The third option i have is to volunteer in the hospice dept. of a home care agency. I've never worked in hospice or home care before but i've always liked hospice and home care and i feel i would get a lot of personal satisfaction if i volunteer there. I also feel that if i volunteer there, i will have an idea if that is an area where i would like to work someday.

    So i'm thinking i should do clinic and hospice but hubby suggested i should volunteer at the nearby hospital since there's better chance for me to network there. Since my last job was in a medsurg unit at a hospital, he said it's more likely that i will get another hospital job. Thoughts??
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    do you have time to volunteer in all three settings? if not, go with your heart. for example, if you are not dying to return to med surg, volunteering at the hospital will not get you necessarily noticed over others... hospitals have lots of volunteers and many are well connected. on the other hand, if you volunteer for hospice and choose a small one, you may increase your chances of being hired. it is much easier to network in a small setting and to gain a positive reputation given your passion, then within a large bureaucratic setting you may or may not like. jmo. gl!
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    Even though the hospital may seem ideal for networking, I've found that smaller settings provide ideal networking opportunities. It's easy to get lost in the crowd in a hospital setting as a volunteer, but it does look good on paper and can definitely be valuable experience. The smaller settings are where I got to know people, and actually the volunteer coordinator for the hospice where I volunteered and I still exchange emails and cards. With volunteering, references are what you are after (along with the obvious benefits), so go where you are comfortable and have access to relationship-building.
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    What type of setting allows volunteers to do VS and bloodwork?? Kind of scary.

    Hospice sounds good.

    Best wishes!
  7. 0
    Thanks for the response! I agree that it's better to volunteer in a smaller setting than in a big hospital. It will be easier to network and make more meaningful connections with people. In response to merlee's comment, they only let volunteer nurses do VS, bloodworks and injections. In order for me to start at that clinic, i have to get a medical clearance, BLS certification, provide proof of malpractice insurance and an active RN license. If i screw up, my license is on the line. The same thing goes with the doctors and NPs who volunteer at that clinic.


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