Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Hospital Volunteerism

Name: Gabrielle Trakhter
From: San Francisco, California
Grade: 11
School: San Jose State University
Votes: 63

Volunteering is a way to give back to the community while also developing
professionalism skills. My whole life, I have loved helping people.
It could be as simple as helping my grandmother cook and clean and I
would be satisfied with my action and her reaction to me doing it.
Through my high school years, I had the most opportunities to
volunteer. In the summer and during the school year, I volunteered in
a hospital. I helped in the Mother and Baby Unit at California
Pacific Medical Center. I chose it to assist myself in figuring out
whether I want to take my future profession towards the medical
field. I volunteered 2-3 times a week and in total earned
approximately 100 hours. My biggest responsibilities while
volunteering included cleaning supplies for the nurses and patients,
discharging parents from the hospital, setting up rooms for parents
to stay in after having their infant, and answering phone calls. The
biggest challenge of volunteering in this unit specifically was being
self aware with my actions and how I speak with patients. It is very
important to be kind and helpful to the parents due to their
vulnerability. The biggest satisfaction was discharging the patients
to bring their child home for the first time. Each parent that I got
to discharge couldn’t wait to finally bring their child home. Many
new parents especially seemed very helpless in the hospital because
it was so new and exciting to them. Watching the precious
relationship between the parents and infant was satisfying enough,
but getting to be the one walk them to their cars to finally go home
was my favorite part. From my experience, I have gained many
different skills. The first one is social skills; you talk to many
different people in the hospital and it is difficult to just do
something on your own. You constantly have to communicate with nurses
to find out what tasks are most important to do and with the patients
you have to be as helpful as you can be based on your knowledge.

“Forward looking” means seeing progression in the future. My volunteerism at
the hospital is forward looking because it helped me realize I want
to work in the medical field. Though it isn’t the same unit, I know
I want to help people feel less vulnerable and more confident with
how they live each day. Based on what I did as a volunteer, I hope
many people would do the same because it is a really fun way to get
involved with your community. You’re always on your feet and
running around, but if a person doesn’t like that I hope they find
another volunteering activity to participate in. I think my
volunteering would still make a difference in many years following
because everyday babies are being born and it can be a lot to handle
as nurse therefore having some sort of aid is always helpful to do
simple tasks.

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