The benefits of work experience in the hospital and community setting
If you are planning to go to medical school – work experience is essential to make sure the career is right for you. See below for advice on what sort of experience is useful and the benefits of community and hospital based experience!
Why am I writing this blog?
Deciding to apply for medicine is no small task and a big decision in itself as the work required to get there is somewhat larger than when applying for other courses. Therefore, I feel before applying it is necessary to gain valuable and worthwhile work experience both in hospital settings and the community.
I am a first-year medical student and over the last year discussing the application process with peers of mine it has become apparent that the majority of them all gained valuable experience in hospitals however very few worked in the community. I feel this seems to be the general trend for most applicants.
I have been fortunate enough to have had both hospital and community experience and below I am going to talk about why both are equally as valuable when applying and deciding if medicine is for you.
The Benefits of Hospital Experience
I really enjoyed my hospital work experience as I managed to get a few days in a total of four different areas. The most eye-opening experience was in the maxillofacial department as I had never watched a general anaesthetic before. I was aware of the basics of what a general anaesthetic was but watching it all happen live really was incredible.
This department also allowed me to witness how rewarding it was to be a member of a great team within a hospital setting. The overall hospital experience was very beneficial, and I would highly recommend. The hospital is a very fascinating place full of skilled individuals and gaining experience watching them work can provide a great insight into what a career in medicine might look like.
The Benefits of Community Experience
The community experience I gained was very hands on. I got a job providing care and support to the elderly and those with additional needs. The experience allowed me to be more hands on and play an active role in providing care for an individual.
I think it is unbelievably valuable for aspiring medics to learn how to provide basic care for individuals such as helping with showering or dressing. I tended to work alone or in a pair. Working 1:1 with a vulnerable person also means you have to be responsible for their medications and overall welfare.
This job in the community confirmed for me that I wanted to study medicine to continue providing and ensuring that the best care is provided for those who need it. I found the community work to be far more hands on than the hospital experience and this has put me in good stead in terms of understanding what the role of other individuals in the multi-disciplinary team.