Getting Experience

Clinical exposure – time spent interacting with patients and health professionals – is important to understand the career you are pursuing, and to determine how you will use your unique strengths in this space.

Clinical exposure can be viewed as Professional-Facing Time and Patient-Facing Time.

Shadowing: Following healthcare practitioners during their dayVolunteering: in a hospital, clinic, pharmacy, or nursing home
Medical Scribing: work with a doctor or team of doctors to take notes for them.Paid Employment: common jobs include CNA, EMT, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, Pharm Tech, PT Aid (Some of these require specific certifications.)
A chart displaying the difference between professional- and patient-facing experiences with examples.

You can find opportunities using the following list of some local hospitals and clinics that have volunteer and shadowing programs. Keep in mind this list is only a starting place. There are many other facilities that will allow students to participate in clinical experience.

Some organizations require up-to-date vaccines, including for COVID-19. Many require background checks before you can begin working with patients. Keep in mind that these basic requirements for working in healthcare are meant to prioritize the health and safety of everyone in the environment.

Apply to be Pharmacy Assistant in Washington state – This is one of the best ways to gain pharmacy experience.

  • Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project (Lynnwood, WA) – Volunteer opportunities are available. Contact:
  • Vet&Pet Jobs Marketplace is a free service for Vet and Pet Care Job seekers. You can register, browse, and apply online. Even if you’re not ready to apply for jobs, you can see job postings to get a sense of the job market. They also have blog posts about veterinary careers that you might find interesting.

Find volunteering, shadowing and working opportunities in Washington State at the Career & Internship Center website and use Handshake to find current job and internship opportunities.