Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Did my first day of volunteering at a care home today. It was interesting talking to the residents but I feel like I wasn't really learning much. The most useful part was when I was given the opportunity to administer an insulin injection which was a new and good experience. But I feel that this is probably the most I will learn.

    What are universities actually looking for from those who volunteer in a care home? Is it simply just commitment? And what sort of things should I talk to the residents about?
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by cookiemunch12)
    Did my first day of volunteering at a care home today. It was interesting talking to the residents but I feel like I wasn't really learning much. The most useful part was when I was given the opportunity to administer an insulin injection which was a new and good experience. But I feel that this is probably the most I will learn.

    What are universities actually looking for from those who volunteer in a care home? Is it simply just commitment? And what sort of things should I talk to the residents about?
    Hi,

    The medical school is looking for an applicant to have clear 'hands on' experience within a caring environment. The most obvious thing you are diplaying is commitment and consistency to a voluntary role i.e every week for 6 months. You need to show how you have adapted to certain environments and developed your communication skills i.e talking to someone with dementia/stroke patients. You need to then REFLECT on these experiences through what you have learnt and the effect it has had on you. I hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Be VERY careful performing medical procedures (insulin injections) without appropriate training or insurance. It's vanishingly unlikely that anything will go wrong, but it is not within your remit as a volunteer.

    As 06shawm says, you should just be talking to people, getting experience of working in a caring environment, building your communication skills etc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 06shawm)
    Hi,

    The medical school is looking for an applicant to have clear 'hands on' experience within a caring environment. The most obvious thing you are diplaying is commitment and consistency to a voluntary role i.e every week for 6 months. You need to show how you have adapted to certain environments and developed your communication skills i.e talking to someone with dementia/stroke patients. You need to then REFLECT on these experiences through what you have learnt and the effect it has had on you. I hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
    Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I was only able to arrange this work experience very late so will only be able to do about 5 weeks or so. I have done other forms of volunteering such as helping at primary school for 6 months.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to say that I will plan to do more volunteering at a care home in my personal statement or will that put too much pressure on me since I will need to focus on my studies, and uni preparation?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helenia)
    Be VERY careful performing medical procedures (insulin injections) without appropriate training or insurance. It's vanishingly unlikely that anything will go wrong, but it is not within your remit as a volunteer.

    As 06shawm says, you should just be talking to people, getting experience of working in a caring environment, building your communication skills etc.
    Thanks for your reply. Yes I was very surprised when they let me do it! As with my reply above, do you think it would be a good idea to plan for more volunteering next academic year?
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by cookiemunch12)
    Do you think it would be a good idea to say that I will plan to do more volunteering at a care home in my personal statement or will that put too much pressure on me since I will need to focus on my studies, and uni preparation?
    I think it's a good idea, and I know people who have put things like that in their personal statements before. Lots of people struggle with finding suitable work experience and unis know that, so it shows at least you're trying to make up for it. And if it really does get too much for you you can always cancel the rest and your uni doesn't need to be any the wiser

    Agreeing with the above to talk to the residents and reflect. Ask that about their experiences with whatever symptoms or conditions they have. Things like dialysis, breathlessness (COPD, heart failure), tremor (benign essential or parkinsonian), falls/fear of falling. Any resident in a care home is reasonably likely to be struggling with at least one of these, and they are all common problems that every doctor will see many times in their careers. Taking histories and understanding how these problems will affect patients is a pretty integral part of medicine. There is plenty to be learnt, and while doing injections is fun it's not really what unis are looking for in PSs
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Remember to take notes at the end of the day - nothing very specific, just things you've seen, what you've learnt (e.g. What skills have you seen been used? Do you have these skills? etc.) because it will help when it comes to refreshing your memory when you're writing your personal statement and preparing for interviews.
    •  Official Rep
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
     Official Rep
    (Original post by cookiemunch12)
    Did my first day of volunteering at a care home today. It was interesting talking to the residents but I feel like I wasn't really learning much. The most useful part was when I was given the opportunity to administer an insulin injection which was a new and good experience. But I feel that this is probably the most I will learn.

    What are universities actually looking for from those who volunteer in a care home? Is it simply just commitment? And what sort of things should I talk to the residents about?
    Good morning,

    Getting work experience in a care home is - as you say - a good way to show your commitment. To work in a care home, you have to be understanding, patient, and importantly, empathise with the residents and their needs.

    If you're worried about what the universities that you apply to might be looking for in your work experience, why don't you try and develop the skills required of being a doctor. Here are some skills/things for you to think about working on:

    - Empathy
    - Teamwork
    - Ethics
    - insight into the NHS

    Here are some other things for you to look out for during your work experience:

    - relationships between residents and carers
    - any difficult situations and how they were sorted out
    - simple, daily challenges that are overcome by yourself and the staff

    Remember, (as written above) it is very important to REFLECT on your experiences. This is what is most important when it comes to things like personal statement and interview. The best way to do this is to keep a diary during your work experience, to jot everything down and to reflect on what you learned, and how the skills and encounters you witnessed would help you in the future, as a doctor.

    Hope this helps & good luck with it all

    The Medic Portal
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.