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Premedical Programs

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

University of Dayton students have the opportunity to gain clinical experience by participating in HELP, an innovative model program designed to improve the hospital experience of older patients. Students must be registered for the premed mini-course MED 220 which is a 1 semester hour, pass/fail course. Students must also complete the training program, including a sixteen-hour volunteer training session prior to the start of the program, and commit to a minimum of sixty volunteer hours throughout the semester.

Course Description

Experiential course utilizing the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). In this program student volunteers carry out program interventions directly at the bedside. This training program gives volunteers a level of patient contact and responsibility that is unique among hospital programs. The training course includes instruction in the four volunteer intervention programs: Daily Visitor Program, Feeding Assistance Program, Early Mobilization Program, Therapeutic Activities Program. Students must complete all elements of the training program including classroom instruction, Sim lab skills check-offs, and fulfill all required supervised training hours.


It is important for students entering healthcare professions to be cognizant of the complex needs of patients and be oriented to a variety of healthcare environments. This course provides an opportunity for students to develop skills related to working with older patients in a hospitalized setting. The class helps students develop clinical skills related to interacting with patients, incorporating a treatment plan into patient interactions and helping patients maintain cognitive and physical functioning throughout hospitalization. Finally, students will gain insight into the inpatient population and medical team involved in inpatient services. MED 220 provides students with an opportunity to gain the prerequisite clinical experience in order to take the MED 480 capstone course which is required for graduation.

Please see the syllabus in the documents and links section for more information about the content of the training and the expectations of participation.


Premedical Programs

Science Center
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2361