Volunteer or Apply as a PCA?

  1. Hello Everybody.

    Need some valuable advice. I am in the middle of nursing school in the Boston area and I'm thinking about getting more experience as either a PCA or just as a volunteer. I know volunteers can only do certain things in hospital but it may be a good networking opportunity especially if I want to work in a specific unit. However, if I apply for a PCA, I can get better hands on experience and bring home a little extra spending cash. At the same time, I still have to apply for a PCA position and there is no guranttee I will get the job.

    Any opinions on which path I should take?
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    About RunawayN

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 284; Likes: 31


  3. by   AgentBeast
    PCA position.
  4. by   ashleyisawesome
    go for a pca position, you will have better networking oppurtunities. you work closely with the RNs on the floor and can get to know them and show them what a good coworker you can be and get some great references..

    at my hospital all volunteers do is run things from pharmacy, take patients out to their cars, stuff in the gift shop, etc.. as a pca you will learn skills that will be helpful as a nurse. and the extra cash thing isnt bad either!
  5. by   sandyfeet
    I became a volunteer first and then a PCA. I guess my volunteer program was different--we fed patients, helped with baths, made beds, etc. When I applied for the PCA position it was a plus in my interview that I had already volunteered! So definitely shoot for a paying job, but if that doesn't pan out a volunteer position will still look good on a resume.
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    pca, for sure. this will give you a closer look at patient care than you'll ever get as a candy-striper. if you might not get it, then you can always go for volunteering.
  7. by   not.done.yet
    PCA. I have yet to see a volunteer position turn into a job offer after graduation. A lot of PCA's don't get that either now, but it has a far higher chance of it.
  8. by   KelRN215
    I agree with everyone else- go for a PCA position. As an RN in the Boston area, I can tell you that all the hospitals in the area hire students into the PCA role and that it will definitely help you once you're done with school.

    When I was a hospital volunteer, we did things like bring specimens to the lab or find wheelchairs. Volunteers in the hospital I worked in worked with the child life specialist or helped patients who were being discharged bring their stuff outside. The PCA experience will be much more valuable in the long run.
  9. by   Qmel
    Hi I'm currently looking for PCA's and Volunteers to help me take care of my Quadriplegic brother. Please E-mail me if interested. Boston area. My E-mail is Qmelanie4687@Gmail.com Also open to Resources any information is helpful. My brother experienced a C5 Spinal cord injury in march and we just want him to come home, but we need help! Thank you All!