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Yazmin Munoz's Field Experience with Moores Cancer Center

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Yazmin is a Chicana, first-generation student who is set to graduate in the Summer of 2022. She enjoys helping others and making an impact on people's lives through volunteer work, and hopes to commit even more time to it. As a UCSD student she majors in both Molecular & Cell Biology, and Global Health (both B.S), as she felt that multiple perspectives are needed in order to make an impact on human health. Her career interests lie within health and/or health research.

For approximately eight months Yazmin volunteered at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, a facility that provides people with medical attention and the long term healthcare they need. At the Moores Cancer Center, cancer patients are able to receive chemotherapy and transfusions in the infusion center, as well as interacting with their doctors about their treatment. The center treats several different types of cancers, including breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, head and neck cancers, sarcomas, skin cancers, etc.

I think at first I was unsure about how exactly to interact with the nurses. I wasn't sure if they wanted my help or thought I'd be in their way. However, once I started talking to them and the other staff like the P.As, we fell into a nice rhythm after a couple of months and I think we built a good relationship.

Yazmin would assist the nurses with anything they needed such as making beds, helping to bring patients blankets or pillows, distributing and restocking snacks for patients, and sometimes having to transport patients. Additionally, she would even bring blood from the blood bank when needed.

I remember working a lot with a nurse named Carleen. I learned how to be attentive to the needs of many people and how to best go about taking of my duties in a timely manner throughout my shift.

Over the course of her Field Experience, Yazmin learned a multitude of skills and good habits from the general routine she developed in the hospital. She was taught to first sign in and quickly walk around the unit to get an idea of what would be needed. If there wasn't anything urgent, Yazmin would then start her shift by restocking various things such as snacks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and wipes. She would then check for pillows and blankets, and also see if any chairs or beds needed cleaning or fixing. Throughout her shift, Yazmin would also ask patients if they needed anything and provide them with the appropriate assistance.

I found it very beneficial and eye opening to talk to patients and the staff. I was happy to hear anything they wanted to share with me and I learned more about how hospital staff builds a relationship with their patients. I think this was very important to helping them get better.

Yazmin is currently doing an internship at one of the labs on campus, and she believes that her Field Experience has helped her gain a better understanding of how to build relationships with the people in a professional environment. Her Field Experience was also a good reminder that although she's not directly working with patients at her current job, it's important to still be attentive to the needs of others, and work in a timely manner to accomplish the goals in your day to day life.

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