Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC)

About OIC: The mission of Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) is to provide outstanding care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and through the support of the Orthopaedic Foundation, to provide care for children regardless of ability to pay and advance care worldwide for all musculoskeletal patients through medical education and scientific research.

Accessible by: Metro (Expo Line), Bus, Bike, Walking

Length of Commitment: 1 semester

Shifts Available: M-F Only

Orientation: TBA

TB Testing: Yes – more information given upon acceptance

Website: http://www.orthohospital.org/

Reviews:

Overall, it was extremely easy to start at Orthopaedic Children’s Institute as well as to explore different opportunities within the hospital as well. This past semester there was a switch in the volunteer coordinators to Jacklyn. Jacklyn is extremely prompt in replying to emails, getting back to most emails in one to two days. She is also extremely accommodating of scheduling and cancellations. The clearance process is simple requiring only a short training session along with a few forms. Expectations are clearly outlined during the training sessions. To optimize your experience at this hospital, I would send in your schedule as soon as possible. The coordinator assigns positions on the basis of who emails her first. So to get that desired shadowing or mentoring position email Jacklyn as soon as possible.

Most new volunteers start at patient recreation. I found this to be an extremely valuable experience. It offers a lot of opportunity to interact with patients and get to observe the hospital setting at the same time. I found it to be a very fun job that I looked forward to on a weekly basis. Although it seems like an unimportant job, in my experience it was one that brought the most joy to the kids and parents. Other work revolves around assisting the volunteering department with administration and fundraising. This was also an eye opening experience, giving me a glimpse of the work that goes into running a hospital. This also allowed me to improve my social and professional skills. This position also allowed for me to make professional connections that will carry on after I stop volunteering. There are also many opportunities to meet upper classman and get their advice.

 

Getting to the location very easy as it is within a five-mile radius. Usually, I took the Lorenzo shuttle to the location. There is also a metro station located extremely close to hospital as well. The area is extremely safe. Overall volunteering at OIC has been an amazing experience that has given me a holistic perspective of the health world. For someone looking for a hospital to experience different realms of health within a convenient distance, I highly recommend OIC.

Second Semester Student

Fall 2016

 

——

The process to begin volunteering at Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) is very straightforward. It was easy to contact the volunteer coordinator through a phone call and she told me to come for orientation a few weeks later. The orientation lasts around an hour and half. In that time you fill out paperwork, learn about HIPAA, and learn about the different volunteer opportunities and rank in the order of what you would like to do the most. They also clearly explain how to log in and out, their dress code, and give you a history of OIC. They also tell you that it will take a few semesters before you can shadow a physician or do research and that you will usually start out delivering goodies to patients or doing desk work. After attending orientation, I was required to send Jacklyn, the volunteer coordinator, a brief email that included my availability and a list of three volunteer opportunities I would be interested in. She responded promptly, and told me that there were research opportunities available for me. A month later, I had an interview with the research doctors and I was matched with a doctor. They were not very fond of my schedule, but they said they would take me if I promised to rearrange my schedule for the next semester so I would have mornings open at least twice a week. The research doctor I work with is really great, and tries to make it so that with any task he assigns me to do, I am learning something new. He also tries to not only give me menial tasks to do and tries to give me hands on experience with the hip replacement models that he works on. I really enjoy working at OIC, I just wish I would have been able to start volunteering sooner. I didn’t start volunteering until mid-October, even though I was already in contact with the volunteer coordinator in September. Overall, the volunteer department is very well organized and it is very easy to contact the volunteer coordinator and the doctor that I work with through a phone call or an email.

First Semester Student

Fall 2016

 

—–

I initially chose Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) for my site because I didn’t have a car when I first started. This site, right next to the Lorenzo, is very easy to get to via walking, biking, Metro, or shuttle. For drivers, OIC offers convenient parking for volunteers as well, right next to the Institute. Like getting to OIC, the clearance process is also very quick. To start quickly, the first thing to do would be securing an orientation date (around one every month), and the process of getting cleared to volunteer is further expedited if you have a negative TB test ready to be emailed. After this, you get contacted almost immediately about which shift you would like, and the volunteer office is extremely helpful, welcoming, and flexible to volunteers. Danielle, the coordinator, is very responsive via email and will work with you over phone call to discuss which shift works best for your schedule. For those who prefer later shifts in non-business hours, Urgent Care is a great opportunity to shadow a physician during this time. Shifts are assigned in order of time of request, so volunteers who have been at OIC for a longer amount of time have first opportunity to sign up for a new shift when the schedule is remade every so few months. There are also other opportunities, such as being in a clinic, or working in patient recreation.

There are ample learning opportunities at OIC. Since the OIC community is smaller than most hospitals, it’s definitely possible to get to know many of the staff, and there are always familiar faces every week. The staff definitely welcomes those who want to learn, and there’s the opportunity to both interact with patients and hear the situation and diagnosis. Overall, OIC has been a large part in furthering my passion for healthcare, and I would highly recommend this site for any students looking for a quality clinical experience.

2nd Semester Student
Fall 2015

Volunteering at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children this semester has been an overall very rewarding experience. I began my volunteering with a very informative orientation with Director of Volunteer Services, Danielle Barrios. Danielle was initially a bit difficult to contact as she took about two weeks to respond to my emails and phone calls. However, I later found that Danielle, a young, fun, and personable professional, was just settling into her new position has since been an incredible site coordinator.

I began volunteering without further clearance, aside from the typical THV health-clearance process. After giving Danielle the days and times of my availability, she assigned me to Outpatient Registration. While I had not selected this option as one of my interest areas on the orientation form, I think I was placed with this department both because I am semi-fluent in Spanish and because they are rather short-handed.

At first, I was a bit frustrated with my placement. I primarily did patient calls, most of which were in Spanish, which was very similar to my work in the University Eye Center last year. As I continued to volunteer, I was eventually given other tasks like mailing out patient appointment reminders, calling insurance companies for authorization, and making copies of sign-in forms. However, the work was never very involved and, at times, I felt disconnected from the medical setting just a few floors away.

However, this was perhaps my most valuable experience. I learned to do the tasks I was given with a smile on my face when I began to realize how appreciative this made the staff members of outpatient registration. They were extremely under-staffed and received daily complaints from irritated patients on the phone. Thus, if I could do the simple task of calling back these patients so that the trained staff could be more productive on actually attending to patients, it became worth it. Even more rewarding was learning the benefits of being a compliant volunteer. I had wanted to ask Danielle for a department change after the 3rd week of volunteering, but I never had the courage and stuck it out until the end. However, on my second to last day volunteering, I told her how appreciative I was for my time spent at the OIFC and that I would love to come back next semester. She then proceeded to tell me that she was pleased to see I had proven myself a reliable and consistent volunteer and suggested that I come twice a week next semester to shadow a nurse practitioner or a doctor. I was thrilled because I had worked myself to where I want to be. While it took a semester, I learned so much about the importance of patience and loyalty. I love working at this site and with Danielle, and look forward to a more involved volunteer experience next semester. Long live THV!

2nd Semester Student
Fall 2015

This is my second semester at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children. The supervisor Danielle knew me pretty well at the start of the semester and remembered my desire to work in pharmacy which I had brought up a lot during my first semester there. Whenever she offered me a new volunteering role I would always ask if pharmacy was an option and restate how much I really wanted to work there. The pharmacy wasn’t keen on taking volunteers due to a history of previous volunteers not showing up. Danielle took note of how responsible I was during the first semester and recommended me to them, stating how I never missed a shift and worked diligently on any task given. Through her, they accepted me and I was able to start volunteering there this semester. This goes to show how important it is to do your best at whatever role you’re assigned at the site and how important it is to tell Danielle of where your interests lie because she really does do her best to accommodate you to have the experience you desire. It may not be immediate and might take a semester to get there like with me but the experiences I had last semester as a shadow and recreation volunteer are invaluable and provided me with knowledge I wouldn’t get at the pharmacy.

Volunteering at the pharmacy has really shown me what it’s like to work in the field. The pharmacy at OIC is a specialized Hemophilia pharmacy, more of a clinical pharmacy than a hospital pharmacy. However, the pharmacy does provide for Urgent Care and other patients as well so there is a stock of other drugs that they fill prescriptions for as well. The staff is small in number but once they warmed up to me, they were happy to answer any questions I had about pharmacy and gave me tasks that I could learn from. They taught me about things such as the 340b plan and how drugs under this category are treated differently. Things I did this year included discarding expired drugs, helping with a multitude of paperwork, and logging in information in their databases on the computer. Marienne, the pharmacist on duty for almost all of my shifts, really cared for me and my experience there. She made sure to show me how to fill out prescriptions and what to double check each time to make sure everything was correct. I don’t think volunteering at the pharmacy is for everyone, as the work involved is very repetitive which is something that I personally love. But I think for anyone interested in getting pharmacy experience, OIC would provide good insight into the field. The pharmacy staff are friendly and once you really get to know them and show that you are a trustworthy hardworking volunteer, they start treating you like one of their own and it’s almost like a big family. I love volunteering here and can’t wait to continue next semester.

2nd Semester Student
Fall 2015

It is an incredible experience to be able to volunteer at the orthopaedic institute for children (OIC). It is relatively closer to campus than other clinics so it is very comfortable regarding transportation: within walking distance. Above all, the volunteer office is the most pleasant place that anybody would like to hang out, especially the staff. Danielle, the site coordinator, is a very nice person. Mary, the director of the services, is lively and willing to help if you give in effort and passion. One of the most important things working not only with the volunteer services but any other office would be getting there on time. They would not express thankfulness enough when I arrived to the orientation half an hour early, which they thought I was showing respect and care toward my volunteering efforts. The orientation went very smoothly. There were some forms that had to be filled in (nothing special) but some acknowledgements regarding that volunteers are not allowed to take pictures, share their experience on social media, touch patients, etc. And, getting in touch with them was quite convenient; I usually received a reply within less than 24 hours of my email.

This is my third semester at OIC, and for the last two semesters, I had a chance to shadow two different doctors. For my first semester, I shadowed Dr. Zionts in the clubfoot clinic. It was an amazing experience to not only watch doctor-patient interactions but also learn about the condition and treatment of clubfoot condition. One of the things interesting to see there is educating parents or guardians on how to take care of their children. It is different from adult clinics in that whatever the parents do directly affect the infant’s health. Therefore, it is necessary to calmly and slowly explain and walk through the procedures since treating clubfoot takes from 4-5 months approximately, and there could be cases of relapse. During my second semester, I shadowed Dr. Avoian who is a very lovely doctor in urgent care unit. He is always smiling and talking about things that will make you laugh. The thing that is different in urgent care is that I learnt more from nurses and physician assistant because the doctors are always busy with a lot of patients. So, I always stayed with the patient after the doctor had done checking up and learnt how nurses applied casts. This semester, I decided to volunteer directly with the volunteer office and was given the task of updating donor list on their system. Overall, it has been great experience at OIC, and I will be continuing my volunteer work with them.

3rd Semester Student
Fall 2015

I volunteered at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in the Patient Recreation department in Fall 2015. This was my first semester volunteering at this hospital, but the clearance process was extremely easy compared to the process at Keck Hospital, where I had volunteered previously. The initiation process mainly consisted of attending a brief “training session,” which only lasted about an hour. The only downside was that there was only one session available that we could attend.  However, once the clearance process (signing some papers and turning in immunization information) was completed, coordinating volunteer times with the site supervisor, Danielle, was extremely easy.

Depending on the department we volunteered in, volunteer schedules were more or less flexible. Since I volunteered in Patient Recreation, my schedule was very easy to work around and the site coordinator did not mind me as I came and went. The downside to volunteering in Patient Recreation, however, was that there was not much of a “clinical” experience. The volunteer work mainly involved handing out coloring books, stickers, and teaching patients/families how to make string lanyards only. Although the experience was enjoyable since we got to interact with a lot of young patients, I cannot say it was a very in-depth experience overall.

Regardless, OIC seemed to be fairly flexible in working with volunteers to set them up in a department that is best suited for them. In my case, I had a limited volunteer schedule since shifts were only available during business hours on weekdays, so Patient Recreation worked best. However, there were other departments such as Sports Medicine, Research, and Urgent Care that potentially offered more clinical opportunities to volunteers who had the time to commit to them.

In terms of comparing my experience at OIC versus the other clinical settings I have volunteered in, I would say that OIC is a very laidback environment and suitable for THV students who are looking for a flexible and non-stressful site to work at for a semester. In the long-term, however, I would not necessarily recommend OIC to students who are seeking a more hands-on, clinical learning experience.

3rd Semester
Fall 2015

OIC has gotten a little more organized with Danielle as the new volunteer coordinator: She is very prompt with emails, wants open communication, and is willing to accommodate her schedule in order to meet with you if you wish. I had some issues with signing in because my shift at Urgent Care starts at 6PM and the office closes early sometimes. However, she cheerfully told me to simply email her if that occurs again. Now, I have worked 1 semester in the Fracture Clinic and 2 semesters in Urgent Care. If you would like to shadow and volunteer in Urgent Care, request so early because spots fill up quickly. As other reviews can attest to, your role as a volunteer in Urgent Care is what you make of it. I’ve befriended every person on staff during my shift by spending equal amounts of time shadowing Dr. Ovoian, his residents, and his students (who do patient rounds, making diagnoses) as well as with the orthopedic technicians (who teach you how to cast, help perfect your Spanish, do more hands-on patient interaction). As it is a specialist clinic, not only will you see lower income patients, but you will also see exhausted families who’ve driven and waited for hours to see an orthopedic physician for children. As an Urgent Care volunteer, channel your best customer service skills, always remaining humble and remembering your primary goal to help care for patients. After hours on your feet and working with tired staff and patients, it is easy to let your fatigue and others’ behavior affect the standard of care you should give that patients deserve. While helping with reductions, I highly suggest offering to hold the child’s hand and making sure s/he feel cared for as it may be difficult for the technicians and physicians to do so as they work (But be careful. Some children bite.) Have fun chatting with the children (They’ll remember you when they think back on a broken bone!). From the slowest to the busiest days, I’ve always had fun volunteering in Urgent Care. In summary, I highly suggest Urgent Care at OIC for any pre-med. It will give you much to think about not only in terms of medical cases, but also the healthcare system, medical education system, sociology, economy, and doctor-team relationship.

3rd Semester Student
Fall 2015

For my Spring 2015 semester, I volunteered at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children. It was my first semester in THV so I was very excited to see what was in store for me.

I picked this location because I had already volunteered in high school at a large hospital and wanted to work in a more intimate setting. Plus I figured that working with children was probably going to be a completely different experience, and it was. Plus the location made going to site easier since I was able to travel via the Lorenzo shuttle right after my classes ended. The Assistant Director is Danielle Hockwald and she really helped me get the most of my experience at OIC. I am pre-pharm so I wanted to volunteer at the pharmacy but they did not have originally have spots for that and someone was already shadowing the doctor during my shift. So I started volunteering under Patient Recreation on Thursdays. While not the best role to observe doctors, you get a lot of face-to-face interaction with patients. I distributed coloring books and lanyards while asking questions to some of the patients and parents. This role really requires you to be comfortable and patient with children which I had a great time doing. While it wasn’t what I really wanted to do at first, I worked hard at it really grew to enjoy working for Patient Recreation. I did this for a little over half the semester and I guess Danielle saw that I was responsible and committed. So she offered me a shadowing position on Monday mornings. I gratefully accepted and it’s been amazing shadowing Dr. Avoian. He answers all my questions and doesn’t let me just take notes. I’ve helped hold a patient’s limb still while casting and he even had me ask a patient questions by myself while waiting for x-rays to see what I could learn before he confirmed anything with the x-rays. I also learned a lot from the nurses there. Monica was the first person I approached with questions when I was doing Patient Recreation and she was extremely informative when explaining the different casts and techniques for them. Henry is also a nurse I like to follow and ask questions. He’s always the busiest but if you ask questions and actively observe he’s more than happy to explain anything you want. I’ve learned so much from shadowing the wonderful staff and got to observe not only techniques and practices, but also how important competency and bedside manners are in a medical setting so that patients feel comfortable and are given the best care. I’ve really enjoyed my semester at OIC and plan to return next semester. Danielle is accommodating and wonderful as a supervisor and knowing that I want to get into pharmacy, has looked into placing me as a volunteer in the pharmacy next semester which I cannot wait to start.

1st Semester Student
Spring 2015

—–

Though OIC isn’t officially considered a hospital since patients don’t stay there overnight, the institute provides valuable patient interaction and the opportunity to learn a great deal about pediatric orthopedics. OIC is readily accessible through the Metro, walking, or biking since it is right next to the Lorenzo. The Institute also provides free parking passes to volunteers. There are many volunteers at the Institute, from high school students, to older volunteers, and THV composes just a few of those volunteers! The volunteer office could not be friendlier. They love their volunteers and are dedicated to the experiences volunteers get out of their shifts. They are so open and friendly, and they are incredibly understanding if you can’t make a shift if you’re sick. The requirement is 100 hours, but this can be completed through any period of time. Shifts include business hours on weekdays, and urgent care shifts can be later at night, such as 5-9 PM.

As a First Semester Student, OIC definitely exceeded all of my expectations for what volunteering at a hospital would be. I got the opportunity to shadow doctors in Urgent Care. Although it can feel awkward to follow a doctor constantly, the doctors are mostly extremely kind about volunteers and will explain a lot about bones, looking at x-rays, and the necessary treatment for patients. I definitely learned a lot about not only the health care field but also more about general patient interaction and treatment. There are many other volunteering opportunities at OIC. Some include physical therapy or patient recreation. All in all, there’s no way to not learn something at OIC, and everyone there is so great – it’s definitely a rare clinical experience opportunity, and so convenient since it’s right by USC, especially for those even vaguely intrigued by the field of orthopedics!
1st Semester Student
Spring 2015

—–

This semester I volunteered in the Implant Retrieval lab at Orthopaedic Institute for Children. The lab analyzes the effects of metal debris wear from hip implants and their effects on surrounding tissue. In the lab, I focus on the immunological effects of the wear particles and, thus, read a lot of literature about immunology and implants. Currently, I help photograph, label, and document metal-on-metal joint implants. To future THV-ers who wish to come to OIC, the process to get started is slow, but OIC really tries to find the right positions for their volunteers. I would recommend it.

Anonymous
2nd Semester Student
Fall 2014

—-

I had a great experience volunteering at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children during the spring semester of my sophomore year. I spent my time volunteering in urgent care shadowing one doctor. I got to watch a lot of different medical procedures, help apply casts, and take patient history. I was also exposed to reading x-rays and learning about different types of fractures. The doctor I shadowed was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about teaching me. The volunteer coordinator was also accommodating when I asked her if I could additionally shadow on cases in another department. If you’re interested in pediatrics or orthopaedics this site will teach you a lot, just make sure to ask if you want to see a specific procedure!

Liliya Parkman
2nd Semester Student
Spring 2014

—–

I really loved my experience at LA Orthopaedic Hospital.  I worked in the Implant Performance Lab as a research assistant.  I helped out with two different projects this semester.  In the first project, I helped run cadaver feet (from the knee down) on a range of motion and force detecting machine.  We then compared the control feet to ones that were broken and repaired with different devices.  The second project was a similar project, but using spines instead.  I helped to clean the spines and pot them so they could be inserted into the machine.  In addition to helping with these projects, I also helped in running statistical tests of results from different experiments going through the publication process.  Everyone I worked with was very nice and helpful and provided me with a very valuable learning experience, especially since I would like to go into the field of orthopedics.

Laura Falkner
2nd Semester Student
Fall 2011
5/5

Working at Orthopaedic Hospital has been a great experience in terms of exposing yourself to the clinic.  Orthopaedic Hospital specializes in pediatric orthopedics; the majority of patients that come in are under the age of 18 or 19.  I primarily shadow doctors in the Fracture Clinic and in Urgent Care.  The Fracture Clinic mainly deals with follow-up patients who come back for a check-up.  There is a lot of doctor-patient interaction; however, as a volunteer there is not much for you to do in terms of helping out directly.  The main task a volunteer will do is shadow since follow up patients often need nothing more than a few simple measurements.

In Urgent Care, I am able to shadow doctors as well; however, this is where patients often first go.  While shadowing doctors, I examine x-rays and see doctors diagnose patients.  I oftentimes try to be proactive as possible and ask the doctors questions as they go through patients.  The doctors are very welcoming and eager to explain what they are doing.  I also take the opportunity to ask the doctors why they chose medicine and their background leading up to it.  I find it very beneficial for a student to have the opportunity to question professionals in the field.

As a word of advice to a prospective volunteer, be prepared to go through the same processes each time you volunteer.  If you are looking to see more, you must be proactive and not afraid to voice your opinion to the volunteer coordinator.  I was curious one day of how X-rays worked and wandered to the radiology department.  I asked the people there what they did and they were more than happy to explain their work.  Don’t be afraid to check out other departments and see what they do.

Terrence Liu
1st Semester Student
Fall 2011
4/5

——

I am currently volunteering at the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital on the 4th floor. I work with a team of health care workers that work with cleft palate patients. My experience there has by far exceeded my expectations, and I am so excited to see a surgery I was invited to watch by the surgeon that will be performing the surgery! I was given the opportunity to see nasal endoscopies, and travel with another surgeon to a different hospital to see a newborn baby with a cleft palate. I have gotten a lot of opportunities to do things I was unable to do when I worked at my former hospital, St. Francis Medical Center. In fact, you are not given the opportunity to see a surgery until your 5th round there. I just started at this hospital and I have been given so many awesome opportunities. I love my hospital, and I love shadowing the health care workers there. They are really nice and funny. I have learned more here than at any other hospital I have volunteered at.

Anonymous
2nd Semester Student
Fall 2011
5/5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s