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Develop a Working Knowledge of the Profession

It is wise to explore the professions systematically, first through shadowing a professional(s), then by volunteering in an appropriate health care setting.  A few hours a week as a volunteer may lead to a formal internship or employment. 

Whatever your profession of interest, it is wise to develop a knowledge of the profession through continuing and increasing involvement.  A collection of brief, one-time exposures do not provide the kind of insights that will help you assess your suitability for the profession.  Nor will they provide much evidence to professional schools that you have a working knowledge of the profession. 

Shadowing

The Office of Career Services (x 1530) in Slavin 111 offers Winter Session Shadowing Information Sessions. 

Volunteering

Campus Ministries- Hospital Outreach Program

For those of you looking for volunteer health related experience, Providence College Campus Ministries Hospital Outreach program is an excellent opportunity to work with other students in nearby hospitals. 

What Can I Do?

The Rhode Island Hospital: The only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region and may be a good option for premedical students to volunteer as Family liaisons, Dietary services, Emergency room, Gift shop, As nurse aides, Office support, Recovery rooms, Pet therapy, Patient representatives, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Radiology, Stock and supplies

Hasbro Childrens’ Hospital:  Pediatric playrooms, Emergency department, Recovery room, Outpatient clinics, Reading programs, Tours, Information services, Office support, Intensive care unit, Elementary classrooms, Psychology Department, Oncology

The Miriam Hospital has a patient relations program and transport volunteer positions which may be optimal for, however not limited to, premed students to volunteer in Clerical support: office/data entry, Central transport, Family support liaison desks, Greeter, Maintenance, Food and nutrition, Patient Relations Volunteer, Pharmacy, Physical therapy, Radiology.

Shuttle & Bus Service:  The program offers shuttle service to Rhode Island Hospital. RI Hospital, Women and Infants and Hasbro Childrens Hospitals are all within walking distance of one another.  RIPTA bus #55 is available to transport students from the Huxley Gate to Kennedy Plaza, and from there, RIPTA bus #1 will take you to RI Hospital.

Contact Information: To participate in the Hospital Outreach, contact the Chaplain’s Office at x2216.  They will provide you with the necessary contact information for the hospital volunteer coordinators, and will be able to answer your questions. 

Hospital Outreach Participant Checklist

Hasbro Childrens, Rhode Island and Miriam are all Lifespan Hospitals and require the same application.  To become a volunteer, you need to take the initiative to attend an orientation session, schedule and interview, complete the application process, and attend the required training and shadowing sessions.  The hospitals are interested in committed students, so be prepared to make the effort.  You will find that your efforts will be rewarded with a worthwhile volunteer experience.  Below is a checklist to help you organize the process.

  • Review Hospital Outreach requirements and timeline. 
  • Orientation: Contact Campus Ministry and/or make arrangements to attend an Orientation at a selected hospital. 
  • Interview: An individual interview must be scheduled.  You may sign-up for an interview at the Orientation session, or you may contact the selected hospital Volunteer Coordinator by email to schedule your interview. Before, at or following the Interview, and BEFORE Training, you must:
  • Complete the Volunteer Application
  • Obtain and submit Recommendations
  • Submit TB test results.  This needs to be done annually, but you can be tested over the summer in anticipation of your volunteer application.  Providence College Health Center will perform the TB tests for you as well.
  • Training Session:  A Training Session and Shadowing may be scheduled after your application is complete.

You can also contact the volunteer coordinators of other Providence area hospitals independently (download  this PDF). 

Internships

Internships provide an integrated academic and experiential experience for students. They vary in their structure and may be taken for academic credit.

  • BIO450: Internship: This three-credit elective offers junior or senior biology majors the opportunity to independently explore practical applications of biological principles in the workplace.  Students must prepare a proposal, select and obtain approval from a site supervisor, and approval from the department chair and faculty internship advisor prior to registration for the course. An Internship Learning Agreement must be completed (available through Office of Career Services).  Minimally, students are expected to spend 8-12 hours per week at the internship site, maintain a journal that documents internship activities, and complete a paper that integrates their academic and experiential learning.  Pass/Fail basis only.
  • Clinical Summer Internships are often offered by Health Professions schools.  These are structured and competitive.  Students must submit applications often as early as January 1st.   
  • NSF-REUs: These National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates are generally for students considering research and graduate study. 
  • NIH Undergraduate Summer Internships:  The National Institutes of Health offers summer internship programs for students interested in the health professions. 

Health Related Experiences

By no means an exhaustive list, below are health care experiences that, with some training, are available to undergraduates.  There is no better way to know that you should pursue a career in professional health care than to work directly with patients. 

Training and/or certification as an EMT or CNA, for example, also provide possible employment opportunities during the academic year or summer vacations. 

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Certified Nurses Assistant
  • Nurses Aide
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Orderly
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Paramedic
  • Corpsman
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