As the first child growing up in a Chinese family in a predominantly minority Oakland community, I watched my grandfather take countless prescribed medications for illnesses from cancer and thyroid issues, and being Diabetic. Noticing the medicine cabinet full of drugs made me question what exactly went on in my grandfather’s body when he took these daily medications. I attended most my grandfather’s health care appointments to translate because of his limited English or even none.
They needed my interpretation to understand the information about each drug prescribed for my grandfather. Unable to elaborate on the physiological effects of particular drugs, however, my explanations were limited to basic side effects and indications: drowsiness or pain relief. Or the reasoning to why the medical procedure is being done to get certain tests results.
As an intermediary in my grandfathers’s health situation, I gained not only an acute awareness of the patient’s experience in medical interactions but also an appreciation for the nurse’s crucial role. Translating for my grandfather, I was captivated by the passionate nurse’s knowledge of skills and explanation of procedures and education, her eagerness to consult with the patient to meet his needs. Beyond patient interactions, I gained insight into nurses’ role in communicating with doctors about what the patient want or needs. I began to understand the crucial role of communication in promoting patients’ appropriate healing process.
My determination to pursue a career in Nursing remains strong, As a volunteer at Asia Healthcare Center in Oakland, I regularly interact with low-income minority patients experiencing challenges similar to my grandfather’s: limited education, financial need, language barriers. I play an important role in addressing patients’ clinical needs through direct interactions with them: I build rapport with patients, enabling them to trust the nurses and discuss personal issues. The nurse...
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