I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at Toronto Western Hospital (University Health Network), where I have offered more than 200 hours of service during last one and half year. During my service, I have worked closely with senior in-patients by assisting nurses with their day-to-day care and overall operations of the facility. I was called to almost every one of the nine floors this enabled me to experience diverse aspects of the hospital community.
During my time here, I gained a great deal of valuable insight into the health profession by developing relationships with doctors, nurses, and patients. While at first my contributions may seem trivial as a mere volunteer, I quickly realized that my work and support had a significant impact throughout the year of service. I recognized the value that the patients saw in me: an honest, reliable and friendly support system and more important, I became their friend and most familiar face. This is important because it establishes morale and trust and allows the patients to accept my help whenever they need it. My ability to work autonomously was exemplified in this role, because I often did not require the nurse’s directive to assist with simple tasks like bringing the patient his or her belongings or helping them go for a walk to the local courtyard. Seeing the senior patients smile and laugh in my company is something I cherish and take great pride in. The kinship and overall dynamics between myself and the patients is something that is invaluable.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the services of others as service to mankind is service to GOD” – Mahatma Gandhi in My experiments with truth. My motivation to engage in a role in a senior healthcare capacity was, at first, undefined. When I was placed in this particular department, I did not know what to expect. As the weeks and months went by, both my passion and excitement organically came to be, and I couldn’t deny the fact that this could potentially be my calling. While I believe I excel in any environment with any personality type, I feel that I can be a natural leader and communicator with seniors just by sheer passion and interest.
I earned more than just a stronger sense of responsibility from this experience; gained compassion for the sick and elderly, an invaluable trait that will surely stay with me as I grow older. I demonstrated independence, strong leadership, and a relentless drive to be an agent of positive change in my community. I believe that my volunteer work throughout my high school years will lead to my continued service while at Queen’s, where it’s plethora of opportunities is the exact platform for me to enrich my skills, demonstrate excellence, explore the geriatrics and healthcare world for seniors on a broader context and carry out my visions for the field.
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