Hospital work for an undergrad

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Hazjr
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Hazjr » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:14 pm

I was wondering whether anyone has any work experience in a hospital, for example, in a mental health ward etc. If so, how do I go about looking/approaching for some experience as such?

Esuma
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Esuma » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:28 pm

I'm currently volunteering in a mental health hospital in my area (I'm a graduate) but they have a lot of undergrads volunteering within the same area. I'd have a look online to find out a little bit more about the mental health hospitals in your area, and see if there's a volunteer manager you can speak to there. Also I'd have a look into your University's charity committee, I think most university's tend to have something along the lines of the 'SCA' (Student Community Action) so have a look and get in contact with them. If you say the kind of thing you're interested in doing they're usually quite good at finding you an opportunity out there. It took me a long time to get into volunteering in the place I'm in now (nearly 2 years I'd say, but that was because of various unfortunate circumstances and not a normal scenario!!). Sometimes the NHS is quite poor at hospital information online, and I managed to get something called 'The Blue Books' for my area, that list all of the names and addresses for mental health hospitals within a certain area which can be very useful. I think you may need to be an NHS employee to get them but just in case the e-mail is nhs@landsdownepublishing.com - they do one for the north, south, London and the midlands.

I also volunteered within another service doing basic office assistant work. It wasn't exactly challenging or exciting the kind of things I was doing, but it gave me some experience of the 'inner workings' of the department and the NHS generally, and I got to speak to a clinical psychologist on the team and the rest of the team so I had an idea of the roles they did. That was more by chance than anything - I used a very tenuous link to get in contact with the clinical psychologist and she was very obliging, giving me the opportunity initially to meet up with her and ask questions, and then volunteer within the office. So what I'd say is try and make the most of any links you have however tedious, and if you're struggling to think of anyone have a look for clinical psychologists within your area (or uni area), give them an e-mail and perhaps attach a CV and suggest the possibility of a chat or a shadowing opportunity. It can be a long shot but it may pay off and it's worth a try!

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LittlePrincess
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by LittlePrincess » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:26 am

From my experience of being an undergrad, getting volunteer work in the NHS is extremely difficult in my area. However, we do have a volunteer co-ordinator for a particular mental health trust and I contacted her which has resulted in me being placed on a waiting list for the past 2 years.

Your best bet is to look at volunteering for mental health organisations outside the NHS, such as Mind, Samaritans, etc. If you can get a volunteer post which involves direct contact with service users then this would be best, but I have also found these are hard to come by to begin with because of the 'no experience' issue. I've finally found a mental health organisation that is based in my local mental health hospital who are willing to train me and enable me to work with service users directly, but it has taken me till the end of my degree to get it! Does your University have a voluntary service which has a list of what is available to students?

You may find that when you do get a voluntary post in an organisation it may be mainly admin work rather than really getting involved with service users, but the key is to not get disappointed and do not give up; something will crop up eventually! :wink:

Hazjr
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Hazjr » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:44 pm

LittlePrincess wrote:From my experience of being an undergrad, getting volunteer work in the NHS is extremely difficult in my area. However, we do have a volunteer co-ordinator for a particular mental health trust and I contacted her which has resulted in me being placed on a waiting list for the past 2 years.

Your best bet is to look at volunteering for mental health organisations outside the NHS, such as Mind, Samaritans, etc. If you can get a volunteer post which involves direct contact with service users then this would be best, but I have also found these are hard to come by to begin with because of the 'no experience' issue. I've finally found a mental health organisation that is based in my local mental health hospital who are willing to train me and enable me to work with service users directly, but it has taken me till the end of my degree to get it! Does your University have a voluntary service which has a list of what is available to students?

You may find that when you do get a voluntary post in an organisation it may be mainly admin work rather than really getting involved with service users, but the key is to not get disappointed and do not give up; something will crop up eventually! :wink:
Hey just to let you know, I managed to get accepted for the Samaritans selection and training :D

Esuma
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Esuma » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:55 pm

Congratulations! That must be a very rewarding voluntary role, not to mention some good experience :)

Hazjr
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Hazjr » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:06 am

Esuma wrote:Congratulations! That must be a very rewarding voluntary role, not to mention some good experience :)
Thanks! I can't wait to get started to be honest :D

Esuma
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Esuma » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:02 am

I'm not surprised! You'll have to update us with how you get on :)

Hazjr
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Hospital work for an undergrad

Post by Hazjr » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:19 pm

Definitely :)

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