I'm a university student, and my major is Public Health. In an effort to get into the Global Epidemiology grad school program I am applying to next year, I will be applying for an internship abroad in September.
That internship wants work/volunteer experience in "a healthcare setting".
I have never worked or volunteered in a healthcare setting, and I need some ideas. What positions are available to volunteers? What is required to apply for these positions?
For a little background, I am particularly interested in communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, etc.) and reproductive health (condoms, birth control), if that helps. I'm a junior, and have lots of course work in health/disease and some laboratory training.
I know there are quite a few members who are in healthcare here, so any information you have would be invaluable. If you'd rather om, feel free.
Thank you in advance, SI!
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings
Browse volunteermatch.org, I think the new government site is serve.gov, and look into americorps programs as they are often involved in public health.
If there is a planned parenthood near you, a volunteer position there would help with the condoms/HIV/etc experience as they typically do quite a bit of counseling in those areas (amongst others of course)
contact local hospitals, and ask for the volunteer dept. They have all kinds of things they have volunteers do. From being the welcome person at the front desk giving out directions, to transporting patients in wheelchairs from one department to another, to actually being on the floor and making beds, filling ice pitchers, etc.
It is very rewarding, and fun work. Let them know what your interest is, and they may be able to pair you up with something along that line.
These would be more specific to your goals than a hospital setting.
But if you were a Candy Stripper, we really need a photo.
Given your interests, you should also do this with faculty and grad students in women's studies, gender studies, social work, poli Sci and or public policy, anthropology.
If your grades are good, you really should be meeting with your school's advisor for distinguished scholarships and fellowships. There's boodles of money out there for people who want to work in the areas you listed. If you are female or a person of color, so much the better, as there are programs to get people in these categories into these fields, where they are quite underrepresented.
Also, if you are female and a non traditional aged student, you might check into AAUW, American Association of University Women, which has good scholarships for graduate work for non traditional aged women.
And, as I said at first, go to your school's career center and speak with one of the professional staff. You really need someone to help you lay out a plan for these kinds of experiences, putting together a résumé, etc etc.
I advise my first year students to do these things. Definitely do them! Make the time -- it will really be worth it.
Also try your local free clinic and see if they need a volunteer. It will probably be clerical, but it is a start!
This is a great idea, we live in an area that has a high level of immigrants (to work in agriculture), and we have many free clinics.
Hospices always need volunteers and often offer positions with direct patient contact. It is tough tough work though.
LOTS of hospice opportunities. I just don't think I could do it (then a little voice says "If not you, then who?"). I lost my father (what feels like recently) 8 years ago, when I was young, and haven't dealt with death well since.
Thank you, I just checked this out and found some great stuff on there!
If there is a planned parenthood near you, a volunteer position there would help with the condoms/HIV/etc experience as they typically do quite a bit of counseling in those areas
I filled out an application for PP, but they have no openings for volunteers listed on their national website. I would imagine they are being very selective, since so many opponents try to "infiltrate" them.
Tushnurse, thank you!
Look up Ryan White in your area, there should be an HIV education group.
Thank you, I found two! One is outreach, and although it sounds right up my alley personally, it wouldn't be in a healthcare setting. The other is a clean needle exchange/education, instructing IV drug users on how to use safely, if it's in a clinic I will be applying for that.
If your grades are good, you really should be meeting with your school's advisor for distinguished scholarships and fellowships.
My grades are excellent, and I am on full scholarship (non-traditional female student), but I will definitely be following every piece of advice that you gave, StrongerOne. I have yet to be to our career center, I guess it's about time.
For your interest in epidemiology, our Infection Prevention/Epidemiology department needs help on data entry and pulling reports for new reporting requirements, I suspect others do too.
Excellent advice, thank you!
Thanks everyone, this is all in an effort to improve my application for my internship abroad, which is an attempt to improve my grad school application, which is an attempt to get me started on a life abroad in epidemiology.
Thanks, everyone, I am so grateful for all of the advice!