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Gaining Experience

The health professions require significant clinical experience in order to become a competitive candidate. The schools want students to be as sure as they can that the profession is right for them as a career choice and to get experiences that give them a good idea of what the profession is all about. Most health professions schools want to see that you have experience working with patients and that you are involved in the wellbeing of your community.

How to gain experience:

Health care practices and organizations that contact us with job openings are posted in ePACK.

Taking initiative and networking is how students often get positions (volunteer, shadowing, part-time and summers).  Some ideas for accessing people and places for networking, getting contacts, leads and referrals include:

  • your personal health care office (doctor, dentist, etc)
  • free and low cost health clinics
  • hospital volunteer offices
  • gaining a healthcare certification
  • assisted living facilities, hospice centers
  • family and friends
  • professional schools in NC – ask if they assist with contacts who have graduated from their program
  • professional associations – some have a mentoring program
  • NC State pre-health students, student club members and officers (a rich network of contacts)
  • referrals – one health care professional knows many others they could suggest

Examples of places to start:

Hospital Volunteering UNC Rex Health, WakeMed Health, Duke Raleigh Health, UNC-CH Volunteer Doula Program

Free ClinicsUrban Ministries of Wake County, Mariam Clinic, Alliance Medical Ministry, Advance Community Health, Wake Smiles

CertificationsNurse Aid – Wake Tech, Nurse Aid – Durham Tech, Phlebotomy – Durham Tech, EMT – Durham Tech, EMT – Wake Tech, CareOne

Hospital Paid JobsUNC Rex Health, WakeMed Health, Duke Health

ResearchOffice of Undergraduate Research

  • Certifications can also be earned from private training centers, as well