Patient Contact Opportunities for Health Care Students

Whether you aspire to become a physician, nurse or physical therapist, direct patient contact is a vital part of your professional development plan. While job shadowing only permits you to observe the work environment passively, employment and volunteering puts you in the driver’s seat. Through these experiences, you will develop needed job skills, practice empathy, enhance your professional networking and clarify your career goals — all while you make a difference and enhance your ability to compete as you prepare to graduate.

You will not need to look far to find opportunities. Sioux Falls offers many organizations that accommodate your busy schedule and provide quality experiences. Students interested in providing patient care in the health care industry are encouraged to consider the opportunities below.

Organizations to Consider

Additional Information

  • Carefully assess your other priorities before adding anything to your schedule. Your academic success is vital to your future marketability as you seek employment or admission to graduate or professional schools. Depending on your professional goals, you will also want to build sufficient time into your career development plan for research.  

Volunteer positions require less time – some as little as four hours per week. If you decide to pursue a job, look for employment that brings balance to your week. Some organizations offer reduced schedules, while a few positions may be available as PRN, which means they will contact you when needed. This offers you greater control over your hours worked. Employers will give preference to individuals who offer longevity, so assess your ongoing availability before you apply. Internships are also available during the summer and do not require work during the school year.
  • Because first-year students are transitioning into college during their freshman year, we generally encourage students to consider paid opportunities as they begin their second or third year at Augustana.
 Volunteering is a great place to start!
  • Popular job titles include Patient Care Tech/Assistant, Direct Support Professionals, Certified Nursing Aide/Assistant, Guest Services Representative, Room Service Assistant/Ambassador, Companion Aide/Homemaker, Medication Aide, Pharmacy Tech (in-training) and Dietary Aide/Food Service Assistant. 
  • Securing these positions is competitive, so be sure to stop by the Student Success Center to refine your resume and prepare for interviews. Start early because the process is also driven by specific deadlines. 
  • Augustana also offers an Emergency Medical Technician course (GENL 206) that makes you eligible for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician-Basic practical and written examinations conducted by the SD Department of Public Safety EMS Division. Speak with your advisor for more details.
  • If you plan on applying to professional programs, view their admission information to understand their application criteria. Some programs have specific requirements in regards to the types of experiences and supervision you need. Speak with your pre-professional academic advisor to learn more. Also, be sure to log your hours and reflect on your experiences so you are able to frame these opportunities effectively as you apply in the future.
  • If you volunteer at Sanford and are pursuing a healthcare career, consider applying for their Student Volunteer Scholarship
  • Stay informed by connecting with us on social media (Facebook | Twitter) or through Augie Opportunities.
  • Learn more about upcoming events and employer visits.