1.My STEP internship project involved helping others in need, by being a home health aide with a company called Ohio-At-Home Healthcare Company. As an aide, I spent my time with diverse individuals of varied ages, all with different disabilities. While spending time with the patients, we would go into community settings to help expand social skills, work together on different daily living activities, and work towards living healthy lifestyles by staying physically active and preparing healthy food. Every individual had a different daily routine and lifestyle, which determined the diverse activities I was involved in.
2. This project changed my view of the world and gave me a new outlook on life. Spending time with individuals who are in need allowed me to appreciate so much more in life. The individuals that I worked with struggled with many daily activities that other individuals may take for granted. This brought upon a new perspective to many things and allowed me to have a new appreciation for typical activities in my daily life.
3. There was one patient in particular who allowed me to view the world from a new perspective. This individual was a young girl with cerebral palsy who had much difficulty with moving from one place to another. I met her after a recent hip surgery, which made her wheelchair bound. She had to sleep in the family office on the first floor of her house instead of her own bedroom on the second floor of her house. She had trouble standing up to use the restroom and moving throughout her house in her wheelchair.
Experiencing how much difficulty she had in her daily life to complete tasks that others would take for granted was quite eye-opening. Although this individual had much difficulty with many things, she loved life and always had a smile on her face. She was so appreciative of her family and all things in her life. This kind of situation allowed me to see there are individuals who have many struggles yet stay positive about life.
Individuals and experiences like these along my STEP journey made me look at my life in a new light. Although there may be days where I have my difficulties, it is nothing compared to some of the struggles that this young girl goes through daily. Having the opportunity to help individuals like this in so many ways was so rewarding. Although it was my job as an aide to help the patients, I truly feel like I am the one who benefited from the relationships that I formed with the patients. They allowed me to learn so much about myself, life, and the world.
4. This transformation was extremely important for my future professional goals. Not only did this experience allow me to grow as a person, but it also allowed me to grow as a future health care professional. Having the chance to work with patients and develop a new sense of compassion and understanding for individuals with disabilities allowed me to gain so much insight in health care. I have a new sense of appreciation for disabled individuals and how hard they work to live independently. This experience will allow me to have an edge in my health care career in the future. I truly feel like I will be a leader in my healthcare endeavors because of this experience.