Community service isn’t about padding one’s resume, it isn’t about doing things so that one might be proud and arrogant about it. But it is the dawning realization of to the greater understanding our humanity, our fragility and a greater appreciation of the great lives that so many of us lead and deem to be “normal” when it pretty much is extraordinary in its own respect relative to many other individuals around the world.
I spent my hours, dedicated to Community service, as an intern at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital. Although taking part in this internship was initiated in order to further my knowledge and experience in the medical field, I was taught how to make relations with unknown people that were for the most part, ill. This has been one of the greatest experiences because I got the chance to interact with many different types of people including doctors, nurses, hospital staff members, and patients.
This was a double gift for me because my interests in medicine have been greatly expanded and I was given the honor of being able to help those that were in need, whether it was reading a short book to them, or even closing the curtain in their room upon their request. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ”- Mahatma Gandhi. This quote summarizes my experience at the hospital, where I was able to find myself in respect to humanity.
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When I first got notice that I would be working in a hospital, I was ambivalent: thrilled that I would finally get a chance to experience first-hand what people of the health profession feel, and reluctant because of the atmosphere that would surround me for three hours of a day. Though my intuitions were right to some extent, I didn’t even get a chance to notice the shortcomings of my internship at the hospital. I was always busy with some job or another; from patient interaction to clerical work, my hands were always busy.
The first day I went to serve my time at the hospital was quite possibly one of the most enlightened days of my life. I learned more in the three hours than I would in a week if I were to go straight home. Throughout the winter term internship at NSLIJ Hospital I was able to observe a vast array of medical specialties. I learned what it means to be a part of the medical field, and the responsibilities that go along with that.
I spent the majority of my time at the hospital shadowing doctors as they went about their daily practices: seeing patients, performing procedures, analyzing test results, collaborating with other doctors, etc. This internship was incredibly valuable as it opened my eyes to time, dedication, and care it takes to become a good doctor. Every few weeks, the interns would switch positions, so that everyone could be a part of most, if not all, departments. There was the ICU, for burn victims; the Children’s Ward, for newborns and infants; the Clerical section, where filing took place; etc.
If we were lucky enough, we got the chance to see an actual birth taking place, of course the permission of both the doctor and patient was need along with a strong stomach. In my opinion, the hospital internship is one of the most effective ways in not only putting a person who wants to pursue a career in the health professions on the right path, but also in interacting with people of all sorts. The best thing about this experience was that I was able to put a smile on people’s faces. I received more than just knowledge and experience from taking part in this internship- I received blessings.
What more can a person ask for? It was an elderly woman that said “God Bless You” to me after I had helped her to sit up on her bed. I encourage anyone and everyone to participate in a program similar to this one, because it was beneficial to me in many ways. I was enlightened in the field of medicine and gained experience, I got a chance to build on my people skills, and best of all, I was the source of even the little amount of happiness that I was capable of providing to the people around me!
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