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    Hi guys, I was wondering how those of us who are applying for graduate entry and are already working as HCAs/Nurses/Carers (I know there are a few from stalking this forum are looking to boost their experience or do some relevant volunteering work.

    Personally, I am trying to arrange shadowing a doctor in my hospital (hopefully in a contrasting environment, I feel like I'm fairly aware of what the F1s and F2s do on my ward!). I'm also looking into volunteering opportunities with the Red Cross; interested in a couple of their health and social care roles but also the work they do with refugees. I'm aware that the latter isn't particularly related to healthcare but supporting refugees is something that I feel quite strongly about so I would like to do it regardless of whether it adds a lot to my application. I imagine that the main difficulty will be committing regular time to volunteering, given that I am expected to be pretty flexible with when I can work on the ward.

    So, what is everybody up to? Anybody got any solutions to the problem of committing time to volunteering? Any interesting tales? Please feel free to tell all!
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    (Original post by MusicNow)
    Hi guys, I was wondering how those of us who are applying for graduate entry and are already working as HCAs/Nurses/Carers (I know there are a few from stalking this forum are looking to boost their experience or do some relevant volunteering work.

    Personally, I am trying to arrange shadowing a doctor in my hospital (hopefully in a contrasting environment, I feel like I'm fairly aware of what the F1s and F2s do on my ward!). I'm also looking into volunteering opportunities with the Red Cross; interested in a couple of their health and social care roles but also the work they do with refugees. I'm aware that the latter isn't particularly related to healthcare but supporting refugees is something that I feel quite strongly about so I would like to do it regardless of whether it adds a lot to my application. I imagine that the main difficulty will be committing regular time to volunteering, given that I am expected to be pretty flexible with when I can work on the ward.

    So, what is everybody up to? Anybody got any solutions to the problem of committing time to volunteering? Any interesting tales? Please feel free to tell all!
    I work days in the hospital volunteering (although I'm doing some paid shifts and going to be working as a HCA full time come January.

    Where are you applying to? Whilst it can be good for finding out somewhat of what a doctor do day to day, most GEP courses don't consider shadowing a useful experience, or rather they won't count it towards your volunteering experience. You can draw on it on interview though.

    If you want to find out more, then check out the TSR grad thread: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...21440&page=163
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    I work days in the hospital volunteering (although I'm doing some paid shifts and going to be working as a HCA full time come January.

    Where are you applying to? Whilst it can be good for finding out somewhat of what a doctor do day to day, most GEP courses don't consider shadowing a useful experience, or rather they won't count it towards your volunteering experience. You can draw on it on interview though.

    If you want to find out more, then check out the TSR grad thread: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1021440&pag e=163
    I'm currently intending to apply to St Georges, Leicester, Nottingham and Newcastle. Thanks for warning me that shadowing won't necessarily strengthen my application, although part of my reasoning was that I would have a more informed view of what doctors do in various settings, so I will most likely do it anyway.
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    most GEP courses don't consider shadowing a useful experience
    I constantly see you pedalling this. Do you not have much shadowing exp yourself or something? It seems as though you're actively discouraging other applicants from obtaining shadowing placements.
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    Shadowing is better than no shadowing. Get what you can, experience is experience. Even if it's filing, it gives you something to talk about. It puts you in a position where you can absorb information.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    I constantly see you pedalling this. Do you not have much shadowing exp yourself or something? It seems as though you're actively discouraging other applicants from obtaining shadowing placements.
    I'm assuming you've seen this

    http://www.sgul.ac.uk/undergraduate/...nce-scores.pdf

    I have shadowing experience, but only from the consultants on the wards where I volunteer. If you have never worked in a hospital or don't know what a doctor does day to day it can be very valuable experience.

    Re-reading the OP's post it says on his/her ward (I read it as t the F1s and F2s do on wards) So it's clear he/she already works in healthcare. If it wasn't for that sentence it would look like all he/she is doing is looking into working with the red cross and shadowing. Do you know any university that would take you with just that much? All three combined is pretty good, and anything with backed up by hospital work is also great, but the other two I don't think will cut it.

    The other thing is I see the voluntary experience and experience you can draw on for interview as being two completely separate things. Of course you can and should use some examples from your volunteering, but I also have others in mind too. The way I see it I don't do work experience or voluntary work to gain experience per se, I use it to tick off the required amount primarily, then look back through my placement diaries, and find the most useful example. I also have the work I've done before deciding to do medicine as a useful example (health and safety, looking after collapsed festival goes etc).

    So I guess my point is I'd never tell anyone not to shadow a doctor, but I would say think about why you want to do it. Esp. when as the OP has pointed out, time can be at a premium.
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    I'm assuming you've seen this

    http://www.sgul.ac.uk/undergraduate/...nce-scores.pdf

    I have shadowing experience, but only from the consultants on the wards where I volunteer. If you have never worked in a hospital or don't know what a doctor does day to day it can be very valuable experience.

    Re-reading the OP's post it says on his/her ward (I read it as t the F1s and F2s do on wards) So it's clear he/she already works in healthcare. If it wasn't for that sentence it would look like all he/she is doing is looking into working with the red cross and shadowing. Do you know any university that would take you with just that much? All three combined is pretty good, and anything with backed up by hospital work is also great, but the other two I don't think will cut it.

    The other thing is I see the voluntary experience and experience you can draw on for interview as being two completely separate things. Of course you can and should use some examples from your volunteering, but I also have others in mind too. The way I see it I don't do work experience or voluntary work to gain experience per se, I use it to tick off the required amount primarily, then look back through my placement diaries, and find the most useful example. I also have the work I've done before deciding to do medicine as a useful example (health and safety, looking after collapsed festival goes etc).

    So I guess my point is I'd never tell anyone not to shadow a doctor, but I would say think about why you want to do it. Esp. when as the OP has pointed out, time can be at a premium.
    So you're basically discouraging applicants from obtaining shadowing because of one medschool only giving x points for an application with just shadowing? And you have extrapolated that all medical schools consider shadowing to be useless? Pfft, please.

    I also notice that you are very clever in your selection of words by providing yourself with a get out of jail clause after telling a potential applicant that the experience is useless, in case anyone actually picks you up on it. Unfortunately, applicants are taking away the impression that shadowing would be a waste of time.

    The fact is, most applicants will have shadowing, as well as plenty of healthcare experience. For you to go around discouraging applicants from gaining it is just wrong. And don't say thats not what you are doing, because it is.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    So you're basically discouraging applicants from obtaining shadowing because of one medschool only giving x points for an application with just shadowing? And you have extrapolated that all medical schools consider shadowing to be useless? Pfft, please.

    I also notice that you are very clever in your selection of words by providing yourself with a get out of jail clause after telling a potential applicant that the experience is useless, in case anyone actually picks you up on it. Unfortunately, applicants are taking away the impression that shadowing would be a waste of time.

    The fact is, most applicants will have shadowing, as well as plenty of healthcare experience. For you to go around discouraging applicants from gaining it is just wrong. And don't say thats not what you are doing, because it is.
    I'm not the one making assumptions here, Every single medical school I called (which is more than just the ones I applied to) have different opinions on it. SGUL and Nottingham think it's of little value, except for reflection. Now that's half of the schools the OP is applying to. Do you not think they have the right to know that?

    The only school, that I could find that actively encourages grad applicants to shadow is KCL, they have their own shadowing program for applicants (but you have to be their first choice, I don't know how they can ascertain this other than by asking).

    Can you find one post of mine that says "Don't do it" or "It's a complete waste of time with no benefit". I mean what I say, and I'm sorry if other people misconstrue what I say, but that's not my problem.

    This isn't the first time that you've over-reacted to some posts on here, what gives?
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    Can you find one post of mine that says "Don't do it" or "It's a complete waste of time with no benefit". I mean what I say, and I'm sorry if other people misconstrue what I say, but that's not my problem.
    (Original post by winter_mute)
    most GEP courses don't consider shadowing a useful experience, or rather they won't count it towards your volunteering experience.
    That, in the context of someone asking whether they should do extra shadowing, is pretty clearly discouraging them, if not actually saying straight out "do not do it". If you don't see that, you have bad communication skills and that probably will be "[your] problem" in applying to med school. If you do see it and are just backpedalling and lying... well, honesty and integrity are important for medics as well but luckily a dishonest person can lie about having those in interview so you're good, I guess.
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    (Original post by thisismycatch22)
    That, in the context of someone asking whether they should do extra shadowing, is pretty clearly discouraging them, if not actually saying straight out "do not do it". If you don't see that, you have bad communication skills and that probably will be "[your] problem" in applying to med school. If you do see it and are just backpedalling and lying... well, honesty and integrity are important for medics as well but luckily a dishonest person can lie about having those in interview so you're good, I guess.
    :sigh:

    Ok fine, I really can't see that, but if the consensus here is it came off like that I'll happily edit the post(s) to change that.

    You accuse me of lying here and actively encouraging people not to shadow, what would I have to gain by doing that?
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    (Original post by winter_mute)
    :sigh:

    Ok fine, I really can't see that, but if the consensus here is it came off like that I'll happily edit the post(s) to change that.

    You accuse me of lying here and actively encouraging people not to shadow, what would I have to gain by doing that?
    Well, haha, that's my bad communication as well actually. I didn't mean to imply you personally were deliberately lying, but I do think there was a lot of backpedalling from your initial statement which wasn't entirely clear. From what you've said you haven't done a great deal of shadowing and I think there's a tendency, conscious or unconscious, on this board for people to dismiss attributes or experiences others have had that they don't. I think the bottom line really is that shadowing is generally useful experience but can't stand alone for GEP. But compared to playing xbox or sitting around drinking, it's definitely worth any medical applicant doing it imho.
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    Just to be awkward, I'll chip in and say that my shadowing experiences have informed my descision about a medical career a heck of a lot more than my full-time HCA job. Which is sort of the point of doing work experience for a medical school application, really.

    I don't care how the medical schools may or may not score it, because I know what I've learned and taken away from the experiences and to me they're invaluable.

    My HCA job, on the other hand, consists of running around all day cleaning up faeces, constantly being barked at by patients, relatives and nurses and lots of heavy lifting. Doctors seem to zone out when they see the HCA uniform and the vast majority just look right through you and won't even acknowledge a 'hello'. Apart from seeing that doctors are busy, I don't feel like I've learned an awful lot about doctors in a hospital. However, I've learned loads in terms of generic skills (albeit in a hospital setting) that I could have developed anywhere.
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    (Original post by LaRoar)
    Just to be awkward, I'll chip in and say that my shadowing experiences have informed my descision about a medical career a heck of a lot more than my full-time HCA job. Which is sort of the point of doing work experience for a medical school application, really.

    I don't care how the medical schools may or may not score it, because I know what I've learned and taken away from the experiences and to me they're invaluable.

    My HCA job, on the other hand, consists of running around all day cleaning up faeces, constantly being barked at by patients, relatives and nurses and lots of heavy lifting. Doctors seem to zone out when they see the HCA uniform and the vast majority just look right through you and won't even acknowledge a 'hello'. Apart from seeing that doctors are busy, I don't feel like I've learned an awful lot about doctors in a hospital. However, I've learned loads in terms of generic skills (albeit in a hospital setting) that I could have developed anywhere.
    Although my experiences haven't been quite like this (I have had a chance to speak to some of the more down to earth house officers, but I agree that most doctors don't even acknowledge HCAs let alone engage them in conversation) your account is certainly familiar. Which department did you do your shadowing in, out of interest? I'm on an orthopaedic ward so I'd like to go to a medical ward to see different side of hospital care.
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    (Original post by MusicNow)
    Although my experiences haven't been quite like this (I have had a chance to speak to some of the more down to earth house officers, but I agree that most doctors don't even acknowledge HCAs let alone engage them in conversation) your account is certainly familiar. Which department did you do your shadowing in, out of interest? I'm on an orthopaedic ward so I'd like to go to a medical ward to see different side of hospital care.
    My hospital runs a 2 day programme for prospective medical students so I signed up for that, although I don't think they were used to dealing with graduates! But anyway, over the two days I was in an ultrasound clinic, orthopaedic surgery (in the theatre rather than the ward), cardiac angiography and A&E. It was brilliant, I really can't blather about it enough It might be worth emailing HR or recruitment at your local hospital to ask if they do anything similar.

    I can understand that doctors don't have the time to get to know each and every other member of staff, so I certainly don't begrudge the way I'm treated. It might sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not really. I work on an acute stroke ward where none of the members of staff have time to catch breath let alone make friends on a shift. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by LaRoar)
    Just to be awkward, I'll chip in and say that my shadowing experiences have informed my descision about a medical career a heck of a lot more than my full-time HCA job. Which is sort of the point of doing work experience for a medical school application, really.

    I don't care how the medical schools may or may not score it, because I know what I've learned and taken away from the experiences and to me they're invaluable.

    My HCA job, on the other hand, consists of running around all day cleaning up faeces, constantly being barked at by patients, relatives and nurses and lots of heavy lifting. Doctors seem to zone out when they see the HCA uniform and the vast majority just look right through you and won't even acknowledge a 'hello'. Apart from seeing that doctors are busy, I don't feel like I've learned an awful lot about doctors in a hospital. However, I've learned loads in terms of generic skills (albeit in a hospital setting) that I could have developed anywhere.

    Well said, I have had similar experiences working in a geriatric stroke rehab ward! I really am trying to now get some shadowing experiences before it is too late!
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    (Original post by baztech)
    Well said, I have had similar experiences working in a geriatric stroke rehab ward! I really am trying to now get some shadowing experiences before it is too late!
    This is the complete opposite to my experience! When I was working on Neuro rehab, all the registrar and consultant had plenty of time for me, so long as I picked my timing right.

    Also I've always found it's a good icebreaker to have a specific question in mind, so eg. when I was in renal "Why do you need to make a fistula for haemodialysis" or "Is the mediport like a central line" etc. Then slip in a question about shadowing.

    In total I've done probably around 30 hours shadowing on and off. I think I've made my thoughts on it clear, so I won't bring it up again.
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    Maybe it's just something about stroke wards, but last time I dared to attempt to talk to the consultant and ask him a question I was told to look on wikipedia. It sounds like you've got youself in with an excellent bunch of people, I'm very jealous. Make the most of it
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    (Original post by LaRoar)
    Maybe it's just something about stroke wards, but last time I dared to attempt to talk to the consultant and ask him a question I was told to look on wikipedia. It sounds like you've got youself in with an excellent bunch of people, I'm very jealous. Make the most of it
    Ouch that's rude. In my ITU we've got some nice doctors, one of the consultants is very nice, once he found out I applied to medicine he said if I ever need any help just to ask. The others are a bit more up themselves. The SpRs and SHOs are very nice, but that's because I make their life easier by doing all thier filing. The nurses on the otherhand, to a man (and woman) have been wonderful.

    I'm taking the consultants as a learning curve of how not to be a consultant when I'm older. I understand it's a high perssure job, but Christ one of them is the most condescending ******* I've ever met. Plus when you compare him to over consultants who are friendly and approachable, and clinically as good if not better, you wonder what his problem is.
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    As a HCA, I rarely ever see the doctors. When I do, we are both usually too busy to have any significant contact. I appreciate my HCA job for other reasons.
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    Today, I heard one of the doctors on my ward (SHO, I think) telling a patient that he had to leave the hospital and go to a community hospital instead to free up the bed on our acute stroke ward. It went like this:

    "Mr, uh... [patient's forename]... uh... you, like, are going to [community hospital]. This is because you're, like, medically fit and we like, need this bed. You can't stay here. Uh, so yes. You have to go."

    :facepalm:
 
 
 
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