Whether you are looking to pursue a career in the health care industry or you have a passion for health-related causes, volunteering in health care will provide many valuable benefits.
Not only can volunteering in health care provide you the hours you need for specific health care applications but it also exposes you to a real life environment with real life situations. Volunteering enables you to connect with professionals in that field who can act as a mentor or even as a reference in the future. Depending on the position, volunteering will also provide you the chance to interact with patients and patients’ families.
There are many ways to get involved:
Volunteer In a Medical/Hospital Role
If you are interested in working directly with patients, depending on where you live, search up your nearest hospital for volunteer opportunities. There are a variety of different settings you can choose from, such as rehabilitation and occupational therapy centers, hospice care, child care, community health programs, etc. Don’t forget to check out your regional health authority such as Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal Health to find out more about ongoing opportunities.
Additionally, there are also programs where students can volunteer abroad while learning about the health care practice in a different environment. Some examples that come to mind are programs such as Ecua Experience, which offers students with pre-medical experience in Ecuador, or Projects Abroad, which offers a variety of positions such as nursing, midwifery, or dentistry in a variety of different countries. To find the perfect abroad experience, make sure thoroughly do your research beforehand!
Volunteer in a Non-Medical/Hospital Role
If you are interested in volunteering in a non-medical role, there are many non-profit health organizations that could use your support. These roles are usually consisting of a variety of administrative, communications, support, or advocacy tasks. For example, you could be a mentor for troubled youth, helping with event planning for a health fair, or gift-wrapping for a non-profit organization. To find the role that you aim for, make sure to utilize the advanced search options that are available in many volunteer websites such as Go Volunteer or Volunteer Canada.
Above are some suggestions on how to get started in volunteering in health care based on my own experiences and knowledge. There are still many ways you can contribute your time, so what are you waiting for? Get started today!