Name: Tabassuma Torosa
From: Los Angeles, CA
School: Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School
From a young age I was always interested in the medical field. From watching TV shows, such as “Dr. House” to attending medical
workshops, I saw the medical field in a different light and wanted a closer view to how it helped the patients with their illness.
Moreover, seeing many of my family members suffering from various diseases pushed me more to understand the depth of their ailment. Hence, on the summer of my sophomore year in high school I decided to volunteer in a local hospital near my house, named Presbyterian Hollywood Medical Center.
I volunteered 8 hours a week in the mother and baby department, which was floor where mothers who were in labor or after giving birth were taken care of. Being a volunteer, I acted as a bridge between the patients and the busy nurses. Therefore, my responsibilities and main job included: attending to the patient’s need-making sure they were comfortable, clerical work, wheel chairing patients, delivering
patient samples to other departments, fixing the patient’s rooms, and delivering gifts to the new baby and mother. The greatest
challenge during my volunteering was the communication part with patients due to my timid personality. I was never a proactive person
who could easily strike up a conversation and I never broke out of my safe zone. Trying to be more empathetic and talkative to the patients definitely assisted me in breaking out of my shy shell that I always surround myself in. Fortunately, even though the responsibilities seemed tedious and dull, they were a great experience for me, especially supporting new mothers and communicating with them. The saying that “doing a good deed makes you a better person” does actually demonstrate this message. Before I would have never taken that life concept seriously since I heard it many times in television and gave it a negative connotation to it. But, just aiding the new mothers with anything after their tremendous, arduous journey is really powerful and heartwarming. I saw myself in a more positive light, not bothering with self-criticisms that I attacked myself with. By assisting others I increased my self-esteem and thus, saw a completely different person in the mirror, someone who was compassionate and more confident. Towards the end of this experience,
this is a feeling I never forgot.
I learned that being able to aid a person after a big step in their life actually helps an individual more than one can imagine. The
comfort you give to someone not only makes them in ease, but it also comes back to you in a tenfold as in a form of happiness. Not only
did I see an insider view of the workings of a hospital, I saw how much the nurses help the patients and know more about them than the
doctors. In regards to that, I respect them more now than before and admire their empathy for the patients. Thus, I aim to help more
people with serious illness and maybe volunteer in other departments. Using the new profound outlook on people, I hope I can connect better to people on an emotional level and obtain a better understanding of people from different backgrounds.