Orthopedics Research Assistant/Volunteer
Following a successful period at the otolaryngology department, my interests in the medical field pushed me to volunteer as a research assistant in the orthopedics field. In this area, my view and perspective regarding the medical profession was shaped differently. Indeed, my work was different as it no longer involved contact with life breathing humans. In the laboratory, I was exposed to handling the silent human beings. Part of my experience involved rotator cuff injuries, cervical injuries as well as knee replacements. In addition, I used my time to help residents in their projects where I practiced dissection techniques.
The period I spent at the orthopedics laboratory in Mount Sinai Hospital forms one of the most memorable experiences in my life. Ideally, the short stint was a source of most of my learning and equally contributed to the overall impact that I had on the patients. However, I was not directly involved with live patients but dealt with those that were dead. That notwithstanding, the process of learning continued as well as the impact that my actions had on the medical field. The experience with silent people had a huge impact in the way I viewed the medical profession and changed my understanding of the entire orthopedics process. My direct involvement in the laboratory contributed to my understanding of cervical injury, rotator cuff injuries as well as knee replacements. Moreover, the voluntary period was also the main source of the knowledge I have about dissection techniques and the different anatomical structures in the human body. Despite there being no contact with patients, the experiences imparted necessary skills in me that are necessary in my future practice. Ultimately, the experience was an important step in my personal development as well as the professional growth with regard to the care of patients both alive and dead.
Student observer otolaryngology surgery and clinic
The period of my stay in the otolaryngology surgery and clinic was special because it followed my hard work at the pre-op department. In fact, the opportunity to serve in the department was like a promotion because it followed four months of volunteer work in the same hospital. It is at this point that I moved up the operating room where I was guided on the right procedures in the field. Ultimately, continued exposure and guidance resulted in a deeper understanding of the importance of individual symptoms in diagnosis as well as critical analysis of the patients.
The stint at the otolaryngology surgery and clinic is one of the most meaningful experiences in terms of extracurricular activities. In truth, the department was my first interaction with the operating room and thus formed a critical step in my career development. It is at this department that I learned most of the knowledge that I have in the medical field. Most of the time used in the voluntary stint was used as a learning process and the acquisition of knowledge on the same. For instance, guidance and exposure led to my understanding that symptoms are mutually exclusive to a diagnosis and must not be generalized in the process. In addition to the learning process, the magnitude of impact that the opportunity had on the patients qualifies it to be one of the most important experiences in my life. For instance, I was able to observe that most of the patients loved picking their noses with others suffering from bleeding disorders. The entire process was important in the enhancement of my skills in terms of medical care for the patients. A large part of these skills were acquired through observations of the important communication skills in use when recording the medical history of different patients.
Student Rep at the Office of Registration
Still, I was constantly involved in other disciplines beside the medical field over the period of my study. My desire to help in the advancement of the medical profession allowed me to contribute in whichever way I could regardless of the department. For almost three years, I volunteered to work at the Phone and front office where I received calls and handled enquiries at the Florida international university. The fact that I am a multilingual student was particularly handy as I could communicate with people of different lingual including Hispanics.
4-5th Grade English Tutor
Part of my objective in life has been to improve the conditions of people that are around me. In view of the same, and in response to my desire to give back to the community, I was involved in English tutelage of 4th and 5th grade students. Overall, the program took about 150 hours and spanned over a period of one year. My continued interaction with students from different backgrounds gave me the satisfaction of seeing students excel in their academics. In particular, I wished only the best fro students from less privileged families like me.
Pre-Op & Surgical Waiting Room Volunteer
Part of my involvement in medicine was in volunteering to help in preparation of patients for surgery. The involvement in this endeavor was driven by my past experience where medical staff was very kind to me at a time when I was hospitalized for a few weeks. The satisfaction of the patients and their guardians was a source of motivation in the conduct of my work. On the first day, I remember, I transported a young girl to the surgical room at which point her mother grasped my hand and requested that I kindly take good care of her.
Student Assistant and Tutor
Florida International University was again a beneficiary of my benevolence as I was actively engaged in teaching. Although relatively short, (about 50 hours), I acted in the capacity of a student assistant and tutor to tens of students in the school. The determination to help even when I have little resources at my disposal is something that I constantly admire about me. One special attribute about this program is the overall impact that it had on the students’ motivation and desire to learn. In addition, I acted as a bridge between the students and the teaching staff communicating important details and feedback.
Neurosurgery Student Observer
In offering my time to work in neurosurgery, my motivation was drawn from the lack of sufficient research as communicated by Dr. Howard Levene. Indeed, it was my desire to help in researching on the field of plating revision post-op adjacent level anterior cervical fusion (ACDF) surgery. A large part of my involvement was in the collection of literature review in regard to the topic. Ultimately, therefore, the direct involvement in research provided me with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of neurosurgery techniques. Over the voluntary period, I learned of basic concepts of neurosurgery and improved my interests in the same.
Vice Director of Orthopedics surgical skills lab
Ultimately, all my volunteer programs were as a result of a visible commitment that led to my promotion to other departments. This opportunity was no different as it resulted from my voluntary work at the orthopedic laboratory. In this capacity, I was constantly involved in preparation of the surgical labs for the use by the first year residents of 2016. In addition, I constantly contributed to several projects in the process of preparing the surgical skills laboratory. The knowledge and skills learned during this short period have in turn formed an important basis for my medical career.
Member of Student Dietetic Association
My entire involvement in medicine is based on my specific interest in the field of dietetics. It is not surprising, therefore, that I have maintained membership in the Student Dietetic association over the entire period of my stay in the university. As a member of the student dietetic association, I constantly interacted with students from different backgrounds. In the end, my understanding of the topic of dietetics was expanded through such interactions. In fact, one such interaction with a friend resulted in my continued interest in the subject of dietetics and the control of the growing menace of obesity.
My continued involvement in voluntary work at the Florida international University extended beyond the imaginary confinements of medicine. Indeed, the second half of 2015 witnessed my involvement in athletics as a patient runner where I relaxed my mind and body. The involvement was based at the Student Athlete Academic Center where I doubled up as a student assistant. In terms of experience, the involvement in sports was a much needed relief from the daily hassles of the medical field. In truth, therefore, my enrolment in running was more beneficial to myself and my social development than it was to the patients.
STD/HIV Prevention Volunteer
My curricular activity involvement also extended to social work within the school. Particularly, I volunteered at the Florida department of health within the university to help in the prevention of STD and HIV. My daily experiences involved the distribution of contraceptives to students and staff in prevention of disease spread. In addition, I was also actively involved in education programs regarding STD and HIV preventive measures. Although relatively short in terms of the period involved, the overall impact on the student community cannot be quantified. In essence therefore, I regard my contribution in the same as highly beneficial to both students and self.
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