Student Volunteer Spotlight:
by Carol L. Weinfeld, July 2009
How a science experiment led a student to become a CPMC volunteer
"What in the world is a balloon doing in my freezer?", Natalia Rosillo’s mother wondered. It turned out that Natalia, then a fourth grader, was doing a school science experiment. These days, Natalia, now in twelfth grade, is pursuing her interest in science as a volunteer at California Pacific Medical Center. She volunteers as part of a weekly school requirement at the Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island; other students volunteer at a variety of places, among them Bright Horizons Day Care, Noah’s Bagels and 7 Teepees Youth Program.
Learning diagnostic testing skills
Every Wednesday for six hours for the past year, Natalia went to the Pacific campus of CPMC. Originally she planned to volunteer for one semester, but she liked the experience so much she stayed for a second semester. For her first semester, she chose the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) and Nuclear Medicine. In the ACU, she assisted patients with their clothes and belongings. In the Nuclear Medicine department, she filed and scanned documents, and learned how radioactive substances are injected into the body for diagnostic testing.
Learning new software and equipment
For her second semester, Natalia chose Ophthalmology and Rehabilitation Therapy. In Ophthalmology, she learned Photoshop and utilized it to make slide shows of patients for doctors. She also learned about blindness in HIV patients. In Rehabilitation Therapy, she cleaned equipment and filed. Her favorite experience was in Ophthalmology, where she enjoyed learning about diseases and special equipment.
A future in medicine
Natalia recommends volunteering at CPMC for students who would like to work in medicine. In fact, Natalia would like to be a pediatrician. She likes kids, especially one-year-olds, and says, “I like helping little kids when they’re helpless.” Following up on her interest in children, Natalia plans to intern at a day care center starting in September. She also likes dancing to hip hop and reading fiction, especially love stories, like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
Natalia’s experience at CPMC has taught her about the many departments that make up a hospital, and the varied talents it takes to run it. She says she became more responsible and more careful in her work as a result of her volunteer experience. We wish her continued success in her chosen field.
About this article: Thank you to Carol L. Weinfeld for volunteering to write this article. Carol is a writer living in San Francisco. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Christine Krieg for volunteering to take the photo in this article. Christine is a San Francisco photographer specializing in photojournalistic wedding photography, special events, world-wide travel photography, portraits and more. View her photos at www.cksworld.com
photo by © 2009 cksworld.com
Click here to learn how you can become a CPMC student volunteer.