I was in grady, Connecticut, on my way to work on my final exams when I stopped at a gas station and bought a gallon of gas for $1.75.
A man approached me and asked if I wanted a refill.
He then took out a wallet and handed it to me.
It had a QR code on it that I could scan and see where the payment was coming from.
I had no idea how much it would cost until later that day when I found out.
Read moreRead moreAbout two weeks later, I found myself working as a senior health care administrator for a local hospital, the first job I’ve ever had.
I was the health care liaison for a small group of patients at the hospital.
At first, it felt weird because I had never met them before.
But it turned out to be an incredible opportunity to work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
I also learned how much empathy, compassion and empathy I could bring to the hospital that day.
As a junior, I was given a different assignment.
This time, the job involved providing medical services to patients who needed it.
I felt like I was working for my local community, not a large corporation, so I was eager to share that with people.
As a nurse, I needed to understand how I could help people and be a good caregiver, but I also had to show up every day and make sure that my patients were safe and cared for.
I didn’t know the job well enough yet to know what it meant to be a part of it.
I was told to come in at 5:30 a.m. for the day.
My first day was my last.
As I walked into my first shift, I saw a few other seniors waiting to see me.
They were nervous about getting out the door, worried about the wait time, worried that they would get in the way of me.
But I told them that they had a right to be nervous, and I had to get my work done.
A couple of the other seniors came up to me and congratulated me on my job.
One said, “Thank you for coming.
You made a difference.”
They were right.
It felt good to see that people cared.
At the end of my shift, one of the seniors told me, “I know that you had to put up with some pretty difficult circumstances, but you were able to make it through.
That’s the kind of person you are.”
At this point, I started getting emails from other nurses who had the same story.
One nurse told me that a patient who was suffering from cancer had already been referred to her by her primary care doctor, and he didn’t feel comfortable leaving her to die in her home.
The doctor then had to give up his day job to provide her care.
She didn’t have to worry about any of the things that were happening in her life.
I asked her why she wanted to do this.
She said, “[My hospital] was the best option, but the doctors said it’s not worth the risk.”
She was right.
I learned a lot that day and learned to trust myself, too.
While I was doing my job, I got to meet so many of the patients who had been treated there.
They brought me gifts, gave me hugs, and showed me how much they cared about me.
When I got home, I took a shower and washed my hands.
My hands felt really good after I washed them, so when I put on my hospital gown, I knew I was done.
That was a huge relief.
The next day, I went back to work and got another assignment.
For this job, my job title was senior health services manager.
I went into the building, put on the hospital gown and went into my new office.
I did the same thing, but in this job I had more responsibility.
I made sure that the patients and staff were safe, that the staff were well-prepared and were aware of the issues they were facing.
This was an incredible assignment.
As I got closer to the end, I realized how lucky I was.
It was my first time in a hospital setting.
I couldn’t believe that I was being able to help people.
I wanted to thank the nurses who helped me get the job done.
They made me feel comfortable and made me smile.
They had a lot of faith in me.
As they told me what I could do to be successful, they were there for me when I needed them.