STEP Reflection

Caitlyn Huelskamp:

Service-Learning & Community Service:

1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two
or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project
entailed.

For my STEP Signature Project, I decided to volunteer at the Wexner Medical Center Emergency Room. Some of my duties as a volunteer were escorting patients’ family members to their room and providing comfort items to people waiting in the lobby.

2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your
view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP
Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or
transformation that took place.

My understanding of the world definitely transformed while volunteering. Volunteering helped to humble myself and be grateful for the things I do not usually think about. For example, just being able to walk is a task some people cannot accomplish easily or at all. In addition, I learned never to assume anything with a patient. A patient can look fine on the outside but there could be some serious issue going on inside their body. This experience showed me that you can never judge somebody in the medical field by how they look. That is how this project changed my view and assumptions.

3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP
Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in
#2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing
the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project
that led to this change/transformation.

There were many events that occurred during my time at the hospital that made me humbler. Every day there were many people who needed a wheelchair to get around the emergency department. This really humbled me, because I never realized how well I have it. Just being able to walk, I do not have to worry about half the things that those patients do. I do not need to worry if there will be wheelchair accessibility at certain places or if people will look at me differently for being in a wheelchair. Seeing this every day that I volunteered really humbled me and made me realize the struggle some people must go through.

In addition to becoming humbler, I also realized how sometimes even the smallest act of kindness could change somebody’s day substantial. For example, one day I was walking a woman from the Emergency Department to Doan Hall, and she was going through a tough time. So, I just talked to her to take her mind off it and reassured her that everything would work out okay. I ended up walking her back to Doan Hall later, and she expressed how much my kindness meant to her. She was grateful that I could help ease her worries, given her stressful situation. It just goes to show that doing one kind act could change the outlook of somebody else’s day completely.

Finally, there were a couple events that led me to never assume anything about the conditions of a patient. There was one patient who was doing fine, but then an hour later her condition had worsened just from sitting in the waiting room. The nurses took her back and rechecked her vitals, and they hurried to get labs and blood work done. The patient ended up being fine, but I learned as a health care professional you cannot judge a patient’s condition just by how they look.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your
life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or
development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or
professional goals and future plans.

This transformation is valuable for my life, because it will help me with my personal and professional goals. Volunteering at the hospital helped me to realize how much compassion means to patients, and how it can make their day ten times better. This will help me with my future goals as a radiation therapist. In addition, I developed many useful communication skills by talking to the patients or their family members. This also helps me in the future as a radiation therapist, because it is important to communicate things with physicians, other therapists, and the patient.