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FAQ

Care Extender Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents:

 


For Prospective Applicants:

What are the benefits of the program?

UCLA Care Extender ProgramOne of the best parts of the UCLA Health Care Extender Internship Program is the ability to rotate throughout the various unique departments at both hospitals.  Care Extenders gain valuable patient care team experience and have many opportunities to observe healthcare from an insider's perspective.  Because the hospital faculty is aware that Care Extenders are trained prior to working on the floor, they are generally extremely receptive and willing to teach, answer questions, and relate their experiences.

We are also recognized as a unique clinical internship program by many universities.  Our alumni find that the experiences gained in the program provide a solid base to pull from when it comes time to apply to future healthcare professional schools.  The wealth of real world exposure that Care Extenders have can't be found in any other local medical internship program.

How long is the commitment to the program?

The minimum commitment is one year (four rotations and one bonus greeters rotation, which is completed during your first rotation) in order to complete the required 250 hours.  You may remain in the program for more than a year if you are in good standing.

How many hours do I have to volunteer?

You are required to work one 4-hour shift per week.  The shift cannot be split up, and you cannot work for two consecutive shifts.  250 hours can be completed in one year. First rotation volunteers must also complete a bonus greeters rotation in either Santa Monica Hospital or Ronald Reagan Hospital.

Are there weekend shifts?

Yes!  The majority of our departments have shifts every day of the week. You can read more about specific departments here.

When are the shifts and can I come in whenever I want?

The shift times are at regular 4-hour intervals.  They start at 7 AM and go until 11 PM.  The ER department also has a shift from 11 PM-3 AM.  We are flexible with scheduling and allow you to sign up for whichever shift you want.  You sign up for each of your shifts one month in advance, and then your department coordinator will attempt to give everyone shifts that work.  You do not have to commit to the same day and time every week.

What kinds of departments can I volunteer in?

We have a wide variety of departments at both the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Read more about the departments we offer here.

What do you get to do and see while on the floor?

Your experience will differ depending on the department you are in.  Each experience is unique and rewarding.  The common tasks performed by Care Extenders include helping staff with transportation, and assisting staff in their duties on the unit.  Provided you have permission, you can watch any procedure occurring in the department.  In some of the more advanced departments, Care Extenders are invited into the operating room to see births, minor surgeries, and catheter placements.

Do I have to volunteer during the summer/holidays?

We allow you to take a leave of absence for a maximum of 13 weeks (one full rotation). The 13 week leave of absence may be split a maximum of one time. That means you can divide your leave of absence however you would like into two parts (e.g.: 5 weeks and 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 3 weeks, etc.)  You are also given a 2-week vacation.  You may take a leave of absence (LOA) at any point except during your first rotation.  The 2 week vacation may be taken at any time, including your first rotation.

What do I have to bring to the orientation session?

It is recommended you bring your resume (you may refer to it for information, but you will not be turning it in with the application). You should also bring a blue/black ink pen to fill out the application with.

What if I missed orientation sessions?

Unfortunately, if you did not attend any of the orientation sessions you cannot fill out and submit an application for that cycle. We hold orientations every January, April, July, and October.

When are the next orientation sessions?

Please check the Care Extenders main calendar for tentative orientation session dates. Our orientation sessions are held every January, April, July, and October.

Where can I sign up for an orientation session?

When sign ups are open, a sign up link will be available on the main Care Extenders Program page under the upcoming orienation sessions section.

Where can I get an application?

Applications are handed out to prospective Care Extenders during the second half of the orientation session. The first half of the orientation session is used to give a general overview of the program and for staff members to field any questions. Applications are filled out during the second hour of orientations and are turned in during the orientation sessions as well.

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For Current Care Extenders: 

Can I receive school credit if I volunteer with the Care Extender Program?

No, the Care Extender Program does not offer any school credit for volunteers in our program.

Can I apply shift credits from Care Extender events to future rotations?

Unfortunately, any shift credit you receive from events are only applicable to the current rotation you are in. You are not allowed to "save" shift credits from events for upcoming rotations.

Who do I do I ask if I have questions about my department or the Care Extender Program?

The first person you should reach out to is your Department Coordinator, often referred to as your "DC".  Their contact information can be found by viewing your department information file (PDF) on this page.  If he or she cannot resolve your issue, contact your department's DC supervisor.  Finally, if the problem cannot be resolved, contact Silva Thomas directly.

What if I have problems with my Department Coordinator?

Contact your department's DC supervisor.  The information can be found in your department's information file (PDF) on this page.

I forgot to sign up for a department and signups has closed; what do I do?

Email the Preferences Coordinator at EWatson@mednet.ucla.edu.

What does "completing the program in good standing" mean?

When each and every Care Extender joined the program, he or she signed a contract promising to complete 200 hours (admitted before Spring 2011) or 250 hours (admitted during or after Spring 2011) in at least one year. Care Extenders admitted during the Spring 2011 rotation will have to complete a bonus greeters rotation before they leave the program in order to complete in good standing. Care Extenders admitted after Spring 2011 will have to complete a bonus greeters rotation along with their main department rotation during their first rotation.  Once Care Extenders have met these requirements without being suspended, they may complete from the program in good standing and receive a certificate and letter of reference stating their good standing.  Otherwise, Care Extenders will be dropped from the program if they do not meet these requirements and do not continue volunteering.

For specific queries regarding completing the Care Extender Program, contact the Administrative Coordinator: JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu.

What if I want to continue volunteering in the program beyond my one year commitment?

During your 4th rotation and every 4th rotation after that (8th, 12th, 16th, etc.), you must fill out an Extension Request Form and submit it by the second Wednesday of the rotation.  Failure to do so results in dropping out of the program.

I was injured while I was volunteering at the hospital as a Care Extender Volunteer; what do I do?

In case of injury to a Care Extender, contact the charge nurse; go to either the ER or Occupational Health (located at 10833 Le Conte Ave., Room 67-120) and page Silva Thomas, Care Extender Program Director, at 310-206-8477 ID# 92463 AND Stephanie Hinojosa, Care Extender Program Manager at 310-206-8477 ID# 91263. If the injury took place during business hours and you're able to take the shuttle to Occupational Health, then you would go there for treatment otherwise, go to the ER.

How do I check how many hours I have volunteered?

When you sign into the computer in the hospital, there is a option to check your service record.  You may also contact the Administrative Coordinator (JsesicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) and request a copy of your service record.  Please allow 72 hours for this type of request.

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For Completing Care Extenders:

What does "completing the program in good standing" mean?

When each and every Care Extender joined the program, he or she signed a contract promising to complete 200 hours (admitted before Spring 2011) or 250 hours (admitted during or after Spring 2011) in at least one year. Care Extenders admitted during the Spring 2011 rotation will have to complete a bonus greeters rotation before they leave the program in order to complete in good standing. Care Extenders admitted after Spring 2011 will have to complete a bonus greeters rotation along with their main department rotation during their first rotation.  Once Care Extenders have met these requirements without being suspended, they may complete from the program in good standing and receive a certificate and letter of reference stating their good standing.  Otherwise, Care Extenders will be dropped from the program if they do not meet these requirements and do not continue volunteering.

For specific queries regarding completing the Care Extender Program, contact the Administrative Coordinator: JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu.

What do I have to submit in order to complete?

If you are eligible for completion (if you are unsure, please email the Administrative Coordinator at JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu), please fill out a completion request form and mail the form plus your ID badge to the address indicated on the form. If you are planning to drop off your form and ID badge in person, please drop it off at 1328 16th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404 during regular business hours Monday-Friday.

If you signed up for preferences or were placed in a department before you decided to complete, please email the Preferences Coordinator (EWatson@mednet.ucla.edu) or the respective Department Coordinator to let them know you are completing.

What if I still need to keep my ID badge, because I am working or volunteering somewhere else that requires one?

If your workplace or volunteer organization requires that you keep your ID badge, you will need to do the following steps. Ask your work or volunteer supervisor to write you a letter stating that you are currently working or volunteering under them and that they need you to keep your ID badge. Make sure the letter includes your name, workplace or volunteer organization name, your supervisor's name and contact information, and a statement that says you need to keep your ID badge. Please submit the letter along with your completion request form. You may also email the Administrative Coordinator (JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) so they are informed. 

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For Inactivating Care Extenders:

What is the process for inactivation?

If you wish to inactivate or leave from the program, first inform your respective Department Coordinator that you will be inactivating. Next, fill out an inactivation request form and mail the form plus your ID badge to the address indicated on the form. If you are planning to drop off your form and ID badge in person, please drop it off at 1328 16th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404 during regular business hours Monday-Friday.

Do I receive any documentation if I inactivate?

You may request a record of the service hours you volunteered while you were in the program. Please email the Adminstrative Coordinator (JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) if you would like to request one.

What if I still need to keep my ID badge, because I am working or volunteering somewhere else that requires one?

If your workplace or volunteer organization requires that you keep your ID badge, you will need to do the following steps. Ask your work or volunteer supervisor to write you a letter stating that you are currently working or volunteering under them and that they need you to keep your ID badge. Make sure the letter includes your name, workplace or volunteer organization name, your supervisor's name and contact information, and a statement that says you need to keep your ID badge. Please submit the letter along with your completion request form. You may also email the Administrative Coordinator (JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) so they are informed. 

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For Care Extender Alumni:

I used to volunteer for the Care Extender Program.  How can I get a record of my service hours or documentation proving my service to the UCLA Health?

Please email the Administrative Coordinator (JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) with the specific documentation that you need.  In the email, include your first and last name, as well as any additional names, email addresses, or PIN you used to log into the computer so that your service records can be found.  Please allow 72 hours for this type of request.

I submitted my completion request form but never heard back from the program after I left.  What do I do?

Contact the Administrative Coordinator (JessicaKim@mednet.ucla.edu) with your full name and approximate time you completed the program, as well as how you submitted your completion request form.

When is the latest I can get documentation for my involvement in the Care Extender Program?

We have a policy of only providing documentation for our former Care Extender volunteers up to six months after they leave the program.

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