Hospice or hospital volunteer?

  1. Hey everyone!

    I'm beginning my prerequisites in the spring, and wanted to know which would help me gain the most skills for a future in nursing.

    I have an interview to volunteer this week at a major hospital, and still on the fence on whether it will be beneficial in some way towards my future.. but I figure, I might as well try.

    I realize that this is no way a replacement for a paid position, but I can' see how it would hurt(I have no medical work background). I'd love to get my CNA certification, but my local community college is still looking for a new professor.. so I thought I'd try this for now.

    Just wondering, which would help me gain the most experience and interaction with patients, hospice or hospital?

    Are there any tips you can give me when I do go for my interview at the hospital? Types of questions I should ask?

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Last edit by Lrtx82 on Dec 5 : Reason: error
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   ami.625
    Depends on the type of position you'd get volunteering. If you're always going to be around nurses and not stuck with limited to no patient contact I'd say go for volunteering! But if you're just going to be checking donations and making deliveries go for the CNA. Being a CNA gives you actual hands-on experience on what a nurse does since that's basically what you learn in your first month or so of nursing school. Also, you'll always be around nurses and might be able to get one of them to write you a letter of recommendation once you're ready to start nursing school!
  4. by   Lrtx82
    Thank you for your advice. So when I do go to the interview for the volunteer position, should I ask if I'll be able to have patient contact and be in the open/around nurses? Is it wrong for me to ask them this in the interview?
  5. by   jess.mont
    No, it's not wrong to ask about what you'll be doing as volunteer. I'm a volunteer family care giver with a large not-for-profit hospice and my job is to spend up to two hours a week with patients. I only volunteer in nursing homes, but other volunteers go to people's houses and sound time with patients there. We go through eight weeks/20 hours of training. We have volunteers who want to become nurses (like me) and former nurses who now volunteer. We have CNAs who have become hospice nurses, too. Medicare mandates that 10% of all patient-care hours are provided by volunteers - although we are very limited in our scope, for safety reasons - so all Hospice organizations thoughts have a large volunteer component.

    I love the work. It is my great privilege to serve patients and families in a most sacred time of need.
  6. by   ami.625
    No, I think it's completely fine since most people who volunteer want the experience for school and what not. I'd say ask when the interview is over and they say do you have any questions!
  7. by   Lrtx82
    Thank you. I'll be sure to ask questions near the end. I'm trying to have hope they'll have something available that will help me in my future prospects as a nurse.
    The choices that they listed that I'm interested in is Patient floor, surgery recovery, and surgery waiting room.
    Could anyone explain to me what exactly patient floor entails? My top areas would be to volunteer in Peds, or NICU. But I'm open to others
    I have the interview tomorrow.
  8. by   EmRo42
    Volunteering anywhere will help you when applying to nursing programs. Many of them require volunteer hours/experience. It will also help you get a foot in the door for a paid position once you get your CNA certification, so picking a location where you potentially want to work is also a good idea.

    I also would recommend looking into private courses to get your CNA certification, especially if you are in a hurry to get certified. In my area, those courses were cheaper and shorter than the ones offered at community colleges. Just make sure you check out reviews on the private schools- their quality can definitely have a wide range from really bad to great. Mine ended up being a good experience- we shared some clinical locations with the community college CNA classes and some of the professors taught at our school as an extra job!

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