What About Volunteering?

I know, I know, this site is MedicalJobs.org and the word job implies getting paid.

And volunteering runs completely in contrast to the whole idea of getting paid, but hear me out on this one because it might help you either choose the career path you want to take or the specific field you may want to go into (or whether you want to do this at all.) So many different medical institutions are short-staffed and welcome volunteers with open arms everyday to help them get through the day and provide the best care to patients. The hospitals win because they need more hands on deck and the volunteers win because they can see what it takes to get things done "behind the scenes".

Let's say you want to be a nurse and you're not exactly sure what a nurse goes through everyday. Well, if you've ever heard of the old notion of the "candy-striper" then you know that volunteerism is alive and well. You could volunteer one day a week for a few hours and just watch as the nurses and doctors in a hospital deal with their jobs and you can see very clearly what it takes.

This is also a good time to talk to the staff and pick their brains for information about how they do the things they do. It isn't that much of a stretch to find someone who is just like you (or was until they got the job that you want.) The more people you meet the more chances you have of getting an inside edge on how to make this "medical job" thing work.

Volunteerism could go as short as helping out the school nurse at your kid's school or the school around the corner. Now, I know the school nurse is not the sexiest job on earth, but it's going to tell you a lot about what it means to work with kids. If you're the kind of person that enjoys kids then working with the school nurse will also tell you a lot about how your neighborhood pediatrician feels.

If you want to be a health aide then you could volunteer at a nursing home or convalescent care home where you can get in the trenches and attend to the resident's every need. This kind of work isn't for everyone, but if you get in with some volunteer time you're going to learn really quickly if you can handle it.

Volunteering isn't so much about giving your time as it is about LEARNING from your time. Be smart, think about what you want and then go out there and see if it's something you REALLY want to do. A lot people say that the best form of birth control is being around a lot of screaming kids. Well, the best form of "the right job control" is volunteering and seeing what it's like to do it EVERYDAY and love it.

Find the job you love through volunteering and then use this site to see how you can make your dreams a reality through education, finding the right specialty, and getting as much support as you can. Nothing should stop you...especially when a "glimpse" of the field is free for everyone.

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