Name: Tobechukwu Ndika
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grade: College Freshman
School: Calvin College
Providing Health Care to the Ones that need it the most- One Step at a Time.
The doorbell rings, and a middle-aged lady enters the building. “I am
here for my appointment scheduled for 2:30 pm,” she says. I skim
through the patient’s files that were neatly lined up in the desk
cabinet and pick her own. After gleaning through it, I casually
welcome her, write down her follow-up information, and notify the
physician of her. I am Tobechukwu Ndika, and I volunteer at the Oasis
of Hope Medical Centre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a non-profit
organization that provides healthcare and medication to the
uninsured. I chose to volunteer in the field of medical care because
I enjoy helping people live healthy lives. To me, it is a way of
giving back to the community. Furthermore, I am studying to become a
doctor, so it is also a great medical experience. I volunteer at the
clinic on Saturdays, two or three times a month depending on the
flexibility of my work schedule. Each volunteer shift lasts for four
hours. The time spent is very fulfilling but not as fulfilling as the
duties I am given.
At the clinic, I have two jobs. I am both the receptionist and the file manager. As the
receptionist, I am responsible for welcoming patients as they arrive
for their scheduled appointment. This entails giving them
refreshments, such as snacks, and making them feel comfortable.
Furthermore, I notify the doctors when patients arrive so the
patients can be tended to. In addition, I schedule follow-up
visitations and appointments for patients if they are required to
return for check-ups. As the file manager, I categorize the patient’s
files in alphabetic order and ensure all documents are signed by
patients so they can be given the best health care that the
organization can provide. This is my favorite part of the job because
I can learn about illnesses and their symptoms (another good medical
So far, there haven’t been a lot of challenges, but the most challenging part of the job is the
documentation. It can get quite cumbersome when a receptionist must
accurately document the symptoms, follow-up reasons, and medications
for two different patients at the same time. However, the most
satisfying part of the job is the smile it puts of patient’s faces.
It feels great to help people with their health. From this volunteer
position, I have learned and developed teamwork, organization,
medical terminology, and inter-personal skills.
The position is a step towards my future ambitions. To me,
“forward-looking” means aligning one’s goals with the current
activities he or she does. It entails trying to experience the some
of the future in the present. This volunteer position is a glimpse
into the jobs I will be doing as a doctor. I seek to impact the
world by giving healthcare to those who aren’t in the best position
to access it because everyone deserves good health.
I believe my volunteering will make a difference in the future because
of the many people I will help to recover.