This week I went to volunteer orientation at Children’s Hospital. This was actually a very useful experience for me in that it helped me narrow down what department I actually wanted to volunteer in. Basically, during one of the sections, four volunteers came in to answer questions and briefly describe what they did, and of that group, the guy who was working in safety research had what seemed to me like the best job. The only concern I had when I registered for Children’s Hospital was actually interacting with kids on a day-to-day basis, which wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world, but I’m more introverted so I was looking for a more clerical job. And this research position seems perfect as not only does it offer a chance to conduct research in a hospital and learn more about how clinics work, but it is under the supervision of a doctor as opposed to a volunteer coordinator. This is especially important to me as I’m premed, and a recommendation from a doctor would be really valuable for my application to medical school. The guy who worked in research was even describing how the doctor was always asking when to write him a recommendation, so it sounds like he’s very nice and always looking to help premed students. Plus, as the other volunteers were explaining, not all positions get some, or even any contact with doctors at all. The most common position for example, which is basically playing with kids and keeping them or their family company, is only important when a doctor is not around, and when it is time for the doctors to work on the patients, the volunteers are basically supposed to get out of their way and let them do their job.
The rest of the orientation was pretty much what I had expected, just going through rules, signing forms, and making sure we had a basic handle on what to expect. But, as opposed to the volunteer workshop at the U which I had been complaining about earlier, I really thought this was a valuable experience (albeit a long one running at 2 ½ hours), and I’m now only waiting to be interviewed before actually starting my volunteer work for this class. I’m almost there.