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Where to get HCE hours?

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Hi all,


I am very new to this forum, and I have been going back and forth debating between PA and DVM. I am leaning towards PA as I love animals but am unable to perform surgery on them (not cool).


I am not a CNA, I don't have any medical certifications, nothing! I also have a super tight budget, where taking classes to get certification will take a while of saving to get to.


My question is, where and how to get HCE hours? Also, can you get HCE as a volunteer with no certifications?



Thanks for any help you can provide!!

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Hey Koala,


Many of your answers can be found in this forum with a little bit of searching. While getting your answers, you'll also stumble upon some great information you didn't even know you were looking for. HCE as a volunteer is a slippery slope, and often times the schools specify paid patient contact hours. With recent nationwide news from watered down "best bang for your buck" masters degree articles, the applicant pool is increasing exponentially. You obviously need to make yourself as competitive as possible. You'll need to specifically research the schools you intend to apply to and investigate the types of patient contact they're looking for. The usual candidates are medical assistants, EMT's, respiratory techs, ER techs, or ER scribe depending on the school. I got my EMT-B in a semester while also going full time for my bachelors, so it's doable and very affordable. I recommend you not viewing the HCE as another checkbox to mark off the list, but rather some very pertinent firsthand experience to gain insightful knowledge of the medical field and the role each person has within the healthcare team. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is if you are forgoing your goal of DVM because you can't do surgery on animals, how do you expect to make it through your mandatory surgery rotations performing surgery on humans? Of course, I don't mean to sound pessimistic; if becoming a PA is what you want out of life, research the field and excel in every area of your application to the best of your potential. Best of luck with your future endeavors.

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Long Island University has a list on their site. This should give some examples. Good luck.




— Medical assistant

— Surgical technologist

— Licensed practical or registered nurse

— Dental assistant

— Dental hygienist

— Certified nursing assistant

— Home health aide

— Residential aide

— Emergency medical technician

— Paramedic

— Physical therapist

— Occupational therapist

— Physical therapy assistant

— Physical therapy aide

— Occupational therapy assistant

— Occupational therapy aide

— Respiratory therapist

— Perfusionist

— Electrocardiographic (EKG) technician

— Phlebotomist

— Ophthalmologic technician

— Volunteer work involving direct patient care

— Shadowing a physician, physician assistant or dentist

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