"Volunteering is a valuable way to learn about hospital culture, generally, and specifically for your clinic (volunteering location). When volunteering, you provide value to your clinic and the larger organization."
"Volunteering is a useful way to meet potential future hospital sponsors and advocates. It is a healthy way to make connections. You have heard the saying 'It’s not what you know, it’s who you know'. For L.Ac. s in hospital practice, it is both what you know and who you know. You need both."
HIPAA = federal law on sharing of health information. "health information portability and accountability act"
TB = tuberculosis
PPD = skin test for exposure for TB; done annually for all health care workers, paid and unpaid, at a facility.
BMI = body mass index
PRT = physical readiness training, a program unique to active duty military facilities (U.S.)
- intro--what do I mean by volunteering?
- non-clinical volunteer work
- clinical volunteer work
- review: the volunteering adventure
This is the 8th post in the series answering the question, "How do I get my foot in the door of hospital practice?" If you would like a copy of the download-able pdf of this series, pre-order it here. To continue to follow our resources as we build them, sign up on our email list. You can help build resources for the community like this by sponsoring a newsletter, a project, or as simple as buying me a cup of coffee.
You may do non-clinical work in your favorite specialty: mother-baby unit, pain management, behavioral health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, sleep clinic, cancer care, pediatrics, etc. Or, you can work in department or clinic related to your field, such as wellness or health-promotion.
When I was a Red Cross volunteer at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, I started out helping wherever they could use me. Nurse educators are awesome, by the way. What they understand about health and wellness and decreasing the overall cost of healthcare by creating wellness and care management programs and promoting self-care is very much aligned with philosophies of care in East Asian Medicine.
In the Wellness and Health Promotion department I started by sorting files and education materials and eventually was tasked to run a small walking program while the lead was deployed.
|Megan, Red Cross volunteer, staffing the StepWell Walking Program|
table at a health promotion fair at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center,
I volunteered one full day a week for about 3 years. I loved what I did and the people I volunteered for have been lifelong contacts and sources for great future job recommendations. And, this was work in my field of “wellness and health promotion” without doing clinical work.
- I urge caution—pace yourself and don’t over-give
- Develop a set of advocates in-house for what you are doing
- Have a well-executed clinic plan, working with your advocates
- Collect metrics—from as simple as patient satisfaction scores to adding in objective measurements or research-validated survey tools
- Review your metrics data--feedback and outcomes
- Pass this data on to your advocates --> market your good work
- For more about metrics and clinical outcomes for our field, see our growing resources under the tag/search item "metrics" in this blog, the website, and new courses
- Be connected to the larger (national and international) hospital practice EAMP community to help you avoid re-inventing the wheel and learn from the mistakes of others.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket—when things don’t work out, be willing to adapt and/or move elsewhere
Review: The Volunteering Adventure
Thank you for following this special series, answering the most common question I receive, "How do I get my foot in the door of hospital practice?". You can catch up on the past posts here and pre-order the download-able pdf, which is a summary of all the posts in the series. There is only one post left, the Summary and Resources.
Other Posts in this Special "How to Get Your Foot in the Door of Hospital Practice" series
- Basic Education and Licensing requirements
- Enrich Your Foundation
- Pack Your Trail Bag
- Find Your Trail Guide
- What to Expect on Your Shadow Day
- As a New Employee, Shadow Your Clinical Team
- Shadow Physicians
Want to pre-order a pdf of this entire blogpost series? Order here.
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