Sydney Johnson Find a Location Find a Doctor Volunteer Services “So, our patient is having issues with her insulin levels. What would you recommend to do as her endocrinologist?” Promptly raising my hand, I answered, “She could have her A1C reevaluated to determine whether her diabetes plan is effective.” When my teacher asked this question, I had just begun my nearly three years of volunteer work with St. Elizabeth hospital, and in that short amount of time in the outpatient lab I had already gained practical knowledge that put me ahead to the other aspiring doctors, medical researchers, and biomedical engineers in the class. From the hundreds of blood tests available, to the proper technique for glove removal, to the inner workings of a nurse’s station, I acquired experiences that I frequently used in my coursework, and will certainly use in my time in college. Possibly even more valuable, however, are the skills I have cultured with the help of St. Elizabeth’s incredible staff and the exposure to real issues as a volunteer. Having worked in the outpatient lab, the neurology unit, and the information desk, I have seen patients and their families in every corner of the hospital. From my conversations with heartbroken children visiting parents, or with a young boy scared to have his blood drawn, or a soon-to-be mother heading to the Family Birth Center. I have found one thing to be universally true, a smile never hurts. Imitating the ways of the employees, I approached every visitor with authenticity, kindness and, of course, a smile. Little did I know, the unwavering optimistic attitude I developed during shifts became an essential portion of my personality. Today, this positivity helps me in creating relationships with my teachers, in strengthening friendships, and in establishing a genuine first impression with college interviewers. The communication methods I have accumulated at St. Elizabeth have not only given me the ability to effectively approach and speak to colleagues and superiors at work and school, but have also given me the confidence to reach out to universities and professors for opportunities that will lead me into the next step in my educational journey. High school has presented me with incredible opportunities. Allowing me to take college courses, to housing a plethora of extracurricular activities. However, my future will not be led by facts and books – my future will be led by my ability to communicate efficiently and use my knowledge in the workplace. Talents I built not in school but with St. Elizabeth.