Project Healthcare


Project Healthcare is an innovative volunteer program for enthusiastic and inspired college and post-baccalaureate students. Created by the Bellevue Hospital Center Emergency Department, PHC allows students an opportunity to experience and observe many different aspects of healthcare. The program is comprised of several weekly rotations which are based in the Emergency Department. It offers the committed student a unique healthcare experience, which is intended to furnish a wealth of knowledge about the numerous options for a career in healthcare. Additional rotations in other areas of the hospital as well as participation in research and health fair projects allow students the exposure they need to make educated career choices. Furthermore, lectures and weekly meetings provide students with a chance to discuss medical issues, including the practical problems that hospitals, patients, and medical staff encounter in the healthcare system.


Project Healthcare is a very demanding program, requiring a great deal of commitment on the part of the student. This year the program will begin in early June and end in mid-August, totaling ten weeks. The first week of the program entails an orientation that includes an introduction to the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine and other rotation areas, informational lectures, and certification in CPR and First Aid. For the remaining nine weeks of the program, participants should expect to work a minimum of 22 hours a week in scheduled rotations, and should plan on working additional hours to prepare research and health fair projects. In addition, students are required to attend a weekly two-hour team meeting. Clinical rotations are scheduled in five-hour blocks, seven days a week, from 7am-11pm. Participants should expect to be scheduled for three to four randomly assigned shifts per week. Rotations take place in the Emergency Department (which consists of Adult Emergency Services, Pediatric Emergency Services, Psychiatric Emergency Services, Urgent Care, the Emergency Ward, and Social Work), the Recovery Room, and the Operating Room.

During shifts, participants are expected to perform structured tasks that will assist doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and administrators. These tasks include, but are not limited to, making up stretchers, stocking supplies, and patient transport. In addition, volunteers act as patient advocates, performing such duties as making phone calls on behalf of patients, monitoring the patient's length of stay, and interpreting.. At times during the summer, participants may be asked to spend a shift collecting data for quality assurance research in addition to their assigned Project Healthcare research. All of these tasks provide an invaluable service to Bellevue, while at the same time offering students the unparalleled opportunity to observe and assist in clinical care.

Additional required activities include: ambulance ride along, health fair presentation, and team presentations of research study results at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine conference.

Additional optional activities include: autopsy observation, participation in the Child-Life Program, and participation in the Reach Out and Read Program.

Application Process

Annually, the program accepts between 50 and 60 students. We invite applications from mature, committed, and motivated students who fully accept the demands of Project Healthcare and have a willingness to participate enthusiastically in all aspects of the program. We encourage applications not only from students with a strong interest in healthcare (aspiring doctors, nurses, nurse-practitioners, physician assistants, clinical psychologists/psychiatrists, and clinical social workers), but also from students who are uncertain about pursuing a career in healthcare.

Please note that housing is not provided as part of this program.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) thoroughly before submitting your application. Applications consist of the online application form (will open on October 1, 2014 and close on January 15, 2015), an updated Resume/CV, personal statement, photo, and two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must include a completed Letter of Recommendation cover sheet, and be mailed in a signed, sealed envelope.

The application process for Project Healthcare 2014 is now closed.

Lauren O'Donnell
Program Coordinator
PAVERS, Project Healthcare, and Research Internships
Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine
Bellevue Hospital Center
Phone: 212-562-3014
Fax: 212-562-3001