The medical field is vast and diverse. There are so many different careers and opportunities that it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide on one specific career. If you are curious about the health professional field, an easy way to learn more about it is to get involved in related extracurriculars. Volunteering and being a part of a medical organization will let you explore your interests and find the career that is right for you. Here are four examples of extracurriculars that you can get involved in now:
Health Occupation Students of America, or HOSA, is a national, professional, student-led organization that any student interested in a career in the medical field should join. The organization provides opportunities and experiences to students all across the United States. Gabriella Hunter, a member of HOSA, explains that, “HOSA’s goal is to shape future health professionals to better future health care.” HOSA has chapters in every state that fundraise to help the fight against a specific disease, and the members volunteer in hospitals and other organizations. Members are also able to listen to health professionals lecture about careers and learn a lot about the different aspects of the health professional field.
Working at a Hospital
Volunteering at a hospital is a great way to see what actually working there would be like. The things you will be able to do will vary from hospital to hospital. At certain hospitals, volunteers can help in clinical areas, such as in emergency services and urgent care, or in areas, such as the gift shop or lobby desk. Volunteers are a great help to nurses, doctors, and patients. Shadowing a doctor or nurse is another way you could learn more about working in a hospital. This is a great way to find out if a career in medicine is the right fit or you. You would be able to experience a day in a life of a doctor or nurse. It would be a great experience and you could gain a whole new perspective. You would see first hand what it would be like to work in the medical field and see if it is the right environment for you. You would be able to learn a lot and it would be a unique opportunity.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides many volunteer opportunities. You can choose from many options including a disaster action team member, a first aid team member, a blood drive volunteer, and many more. Currently, I volunteer at an American Red Cross Blood Donor Center. There are donor centers all across the United States in almost every region. At the blood centers, volunteers have the option of working at the front desk or in the canteen. Both areas allow volunteers to interact with the donors and learn about the blood donation process.
At the front desk, volunteers check in the donors for their appointment and provide them with their necessary reading materials. Working at the front desk is a great way to learn more about donating blood. You are able to talk to the technicians about the different blood donation types and learn information to help answer the donors’ questions. In the canteen, volunteers provide donors with snacks and drinks after their donation. You are able to talk with the donors and learn about their lives. It’s interesting to hear about where they’ve been and what they’ve done. If you want to explore the more personal side of medicine, than working at a blood center is a perfect place to do that.
Finding a research opportunity is another great way for you to orient yourself with the medical world. You’ll be able to experience a different aspect of the health profession. Working in a lab will give you the opportunity to see the things people are doing to advance medicine. You will learn a lot and be able to discover is research is the route for you. Though it is difficult to find research opportunities in high school, The Prospect has you covered! Here and here are two articles that will help you find research opportunities.