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Is Monitoring Telemetry Clinical Experience?

Session 190

Jeremy is concerned about clinical experience. Does working as a CNA or a cardiac monitor technician count as clinical experience?

We take questions directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, sign up for a free account and feel free to ask a question.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:00] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Hello, I began working towards prerequisite science courses and clinical experience for the about a year and a half (with another two to three years of part-time classes in a DIY Post-Bacc).

I worked as a CNA for 8 months at an Assisted Living Facility before taking a job as a Cardiac Monitor Technician at a local medical center.

My question is whether either or both of these work experiences count towards clinical experience.

As a CNA, I, of course, was face-to-face with the residents, but as a monitor tech, I am in a separate room for most of the 12-hour shifts I work.

I am exposed to a wide variety of conditions and have learned a great deal about cardiovascular pathology (luckily, my brother is an EP Physician at the same facility, which helps in my learning process).

Would I be able to either of these experiences as clinical experience? I figure as of now I have over 2,000 hours of experience in these positions (and will earn thousands more in my current position), so obviously it would be tremendous if those would count.

I am lucky in that I have ready access to shadowing opportunities, so I could potentially supplement with more shadowing if need be.

Thank you very much, and this site and the podcasts are any amazing resources (I am listening to them at work right now).”

[02:20] Shadowing vs Clinical Experience

Clinical experience and shadowing are different parts of your activities on the AMCAS. You need to make sure that you have shadowing AND clinical experience. Just because you have an amazing clinical experience doesn’t mean you don’t need to shadow.

'Clinical experience and shadowing are different.'Click To Tweet

Consistency in everything is very important. And shadowing is important so make sure you’re doing that.

[Related episode: Can I Get in Enough Shadowing and Clinical Experience?]

[03:00] Is CNA a Clinical Experience? How About a Cardiac Monitor Technician?

CNA is 1000% clinical experience. It’s a great clinical experience. But as a cardiac monitor technician, the question is what are you doing for that role?

Are you literally only sitting in that room, observing and monitoring the monitors? Or are you interacting with the patients and putting on leads. If you’re doing everything, this counts as clinical experience.

But if you’re only sitting in a room watching the monitors, I wouldn’t consider this one. However, you’re still in a clinical setting. So you could potentially put this down as clinical experience but be prepared to be questioned on your ability.

That being said, just try to make it more clinical than it is now by interacting with those patients more.

'Make sure that as you're going through this process, you are doing both clinical and shadowing.'Click To Tweet

[04:25] What is Clinical Experience?

This is a question that comes up all the time. Clinical experience is not just the location. What you’re doing or your actual job description is the most important part. What are you doing?

Being a janitor in a hospital is not clinical experience. Just because you’re working in a hospital doesn’t make that a clinical experience. 

Be close enough to smell the patient. However, working at the front desk is not included nor is checking people into the emergency room as these are more administrative in nature.

'You need to be interacting with the patients in some sort of clinical way.' Click To Tweet

Child life is very interesting. Some schools like it, some don’t. But I think it’s great clinical experience.

So use your common sense to try to figure out whether what you’re doing is a clinical experience. Hospice experience is an amazing clinical experience. Other great clinical experiences include EMT and crisis hotline.

[Related episode: How Much Clinical Experience Do I Need for Med School Apps?]

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