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Emily Romo's Field Experience with UCSD Health's Critical Care Unit

Emily Romo is a recently graduated Global Health student from Mexico. As a recent graduate, Emily is still pursuing further education, and hopes to become a Speech Language Pathologist. She is currently working as an instructor at a summer camp, gaining new skills while putting her problem solving skills to use.

For six months, Emily volunteered at UCSD Health. She was given various responsibilities by the Hospital, but most of her time was spent working in the Critical Care Unit. Every time she volunteered, Emily was always confronted with new events, and had to learn how to accommodate what was needed to get done around those circumstances. She learned how to become an effective problem solver very quickly, and was essentially pushed to practice that skill very often over the course of her time there.

Alongside quick problem solving, volunteering at the hospital also pushed Emily to improve her communication skills. As a matter of fact, she was vital form of communication as she was given the responsibility to answer almost all phone calls.

I learned so much about different equipment that was needed in the hospital. I learned about real health measures.

One of the biggest challenges that Emily was confronted with was the new environment. There was a lot to learn in terms of working with new machines and tools. Additionally, she was often translating for patients or nurses- an experience that was initially very nerve-wracking, as she was conveying important information that had to do with patient health.

While she was volunteering Emily made a lot of friendships, and learned a lot about critical care and the hospital system. Most of the nurses in the hospital became her mentors, giving her lots of advice about the pre-health work field, and several truths about the healthcare system.

I appreciate that I was given the opportunity to learn and also help in an area that sincerely could use the extra hands.

If she had free time, Emily would go around sanitizing different areas, counters, and door handles. If possible, she would help the Certified Nursing Assistant with the duties that were vital to the back bone of the CCU.

Volunteering with the CCU gave Emily the experience of working in an environment where many stroke victims go to be treated. Currently, Emily is striving to be a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who works with stroke victims, so her experience in the CCU has been very vital in her professional journey. Often times, Emily would even run into the hospital's SLP on the floor. Over the duration of her Field Experience, Emily has surrounded herself with the different population groups the she aims to work with in the future- even beyond her experience at the hospital- and she will no doubt make great use of the skills and experience she's earned for her desired career path.

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