Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Volunteerism

Name: Skylar Chan
From: Las Vegas, NV
Grade: Sophomore (current Senior)
School: West Career and Technical Academy
Votes: 0

In
the past four years of high school, volunteerism has made up a
majority of the memories that made high school significant. As I had
endured a significant surgery as a high school freshman, the
volunteers at the hospital I stayed at inspired me to pursue a
volunteer position at my local hospital. My aspirations to pursue
medicine in the future also sparked the passion I possessed to seek
this position at Spring Valley Hospital. Once a week, for four hours
each shift, I helped out at both the neonatal intensive care unit
(NICU) and the medical and surgical floor. In the NICU, I was
responsible for allowing parents in and out of the secure unit,
making sure they had proper wristbands. On the medical and surgical
floor, I helped the pre-operative and post-operative patients get
water, snacks, and any toiletries they needed from the stock rooms. I
also helped refill glove containers and isolation containers to aid
the nurses with supplies they needed by the hour.

At
first, one of the hardest struggles as a volunteer was learning to be
outgoing and outspoken. Much of the responsibility came with
communicating with the patients and making them more comfortable with
simple conversation. The shy sophomore self made applied this
opportunity to learn to break from my containing shell, and improve a
skill that will forever be useful –communication. Other challenges
was dealing with patients who were unkind, and learning sympathy and
empathy. Much of these patients’ anger came from their situation,
being in a hospital and often struggling on their own. I learned to
accept this and empathize for them in their situation, as I once was
a patient. All of these learning experiences and the seemingly small,
but very significant relationships I’ve made from my work as a
volunteer provided me with the most satisfaction. I got to experience
“working” in an environment I am passionate about while helping
others along the way.

I
believe any help provided, no matter how significant, will leave an
impact in one way or another. Whether the impact effects one person
or a community, each action fosters some positive outcome. Coming
back twenty years from now, small actions like bringing water to a
patient or even holding a five minute conversation with them may made
a day in the hospital a little less grueling –and that small change
is sufficient to find value in my actions. My position as volunteer
are limited to basic activities, as I have no medical license. I
hope as I grow older to pursue more large scale and far reaching
volunteer projects to widen my impact on my community.

I
do see this volunteer activity as “forward-looking” into my
future. “Forward-looking” by definition to me means: beneficial
and impactful for the future. Pursuing a career in medicine takes
grand commitment, and experiencing what the workforce is like
beforehand gives me insight for what to expect in my career.


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