When talking about work experience students often forget about their volunteering. Many students complete either long-term volunteering or a volunteering day to help with their medical application, and yes it does help because it comes under work experience.
If you have completed a long term volunteering position it will usually be something that you do either on a weekly or monthly basis and is a great way to show your commitment to a career in care. Often these are roles in a care home, on a hospital ward, or in a hospice.
Although a day sounds like a very short period of time, completing a full day volunteering by helping out in a hospice, disability centre or care home is a great way to get some medical work experience. You can talk about interacting with patients and even link your volunteering to hot topics such as the ageing population in the UK.
Alternatively you may have volunteered as part of a team to help run or even organise an event at a hospice or care home. This too is a great experience you can talk about in your application, as again you can talk about considerations and interactions with the patients at the event.
You may have not volunteered in a care home or hospice but have completed other voluntary work, so be sure to talk about this in your application. If you volunteered in a charity shop for example, you can talk about what you learnt there. It could be anything from organisational skills with stock handling, or interactions with customers. This is still something that will add to your application as it is still a caring role, without you necessarily realising.
- If you don’t have any other work experience, make sure that you have plenty of voluntary experience.
- Apply to be a volunteer early on, often being a volunteer involves working with vulnerable individuals, therefore you will have to be background checked (DBS) which can take some time, as well as volunteer training.
- Make sure to include your volunteering in your application. You have all this great experience, so make sure to tell the medical school about it, in your personal statement and/or your interview.