Well it’s Monday again, and after last week of being unable to volunteer due to being ill, I anxiously awaited being able to return this week. Even though today was only my second time volunteering, it is already something I look forward to each week. I feel that it helps set the mood for my week ahead inspiring me to reach my full potential in school so I can reach my ultimate goal and become a physician at Lurie Children’s someday. It really helps put things into perspective and solidifies my personal career choice and where I see myself in the future. Volunteering in itself is already such a rewarding experience regardless of the location or field. I always knew that volunteering here would help me grow as an individual and be an enjoyable extracurricular for my resume, but today I experienced a different realm of emotions.
Today, was fairly slow, which entitled a lot of standing around and mostly feeling awkward and sort of helpless. My supervisor was absent today so I, in a sense, had to fend for myself. There are always a few familiar faces, but often more new, so the introduction game came into play again. With it only being my second time volunteering I still felt out of sorts not totally familiar with the surroundings in this gigantic medical maze. The nurses are always friendly and willingly to take advantage of my help, which makes me feel needed and not just “simply” a volunteer. To me, I find it very encouraging when I am able to interact hands on.
Last time I volunteered I mostly just floated between floors and helped transport patients, with minimal interaction. Today was a different case. I was actually able to hold two infant patients, one was around 16 months and the other 7 months. When younger patients like these come out of the anesthesia they are more likely to be disoriented and upset than some of the older children. Two parents/legal guardians are able to be bedside, but only after an allotted time when taken out of the O.R. (operating room) requested by the nurse attending the patient. So during the meantime is where I came in.
The one little patient was in an isolated room, so I had to suit up with a mask, gloves, and gown to enter, but then I got to hold and console her until her dad arrived. The second baby I got to hold, was fussing with the nurses on and off mostly from fighting sleep, unfamiliarity, and wanting her mom. I held her and rocked her telling her it would be okay. She would start to pout her lips as if she was going to burst into tears again, but I proudly stopped the catastrophe from occurring. Her eyes grew heavier and heavier, but she was fighting so hard to avoid the sleep. She was the cutest little baby with bright blues eyes that stared up at me and it made me feel for her for what she was going through at such a young age.
The moment when I was able make her content and when she kept gazing up at me for answers, I knew that I was exactly in the right place. This sort of revelation solidified my choice of career path and only makes me want to work harder and strive to do my best so that someday I can have the title M.D. I want to be able to care for infants like her and provide the families with knowledge and solutions regarding each and every scenario presented. The perfect way to summarize how I feel being an ideal health care professional would be best defined by the following quote as pictured above;
“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” — Charles Dickens
Take a listen: