doctor Find a doctor

You are here

Volunteers of the Month

Volunteer of the Month: Pooja

Pooja and Hannah Volunteer
Pooja (left) and Sarah Qin, Autism Friendly
Initiative Coordinator

What is your volunteer role at BMC? How did you decide on this role?

When I was in middle school I was lucky to volunteer at a school for children with special needs. Spending time with those kids started what became my passion for helping them in any way that I possibly can. I learned more about autism, cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, and many other neurodevelopmental delays and disorders. By the time I started college, I became very aware of what my interest was because, after pursuing other research projects and volunteer endeavors, I knew that I really only wanted to spend my time pursuing this interest.

With such a specific goal at such a young age, I didn’t think it would be possible to find a volunteer opportunity that would provide me with everything I wanted and more until I learned about the Autism Program at BMC. After vigorous google searching and website navigation, I was delighted to find that the Autism Program had a program that would allow me to work on wonderful projects that aim to help patients at BMC and all over the country with the work that we do. I started working over the summer and have been here ever since.

What do you like most about volunteering at BMC?

Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful for the supportiveness of the staff and the acceptance they have of all of my ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem to me. I love that I feel comfortable enough to pitch ideas for new research proposals or projects and not worry about being judged, not taken seriously, or feeling rejected. I know that I can make these suggestions and help build on the work that is currently being done because everyone at BMC has one goal: exceptional care without exception. We want to make the best experience for our patients and make that quality care accessible to everyone. It’s a value that I have held close to my heart before working at BMC, and I love that everyone I work with has that same quality because it further cements that principle for me. The fact that we all have that common ground allows me to make proposals, see them through, and learn about what patients need.

What is the biggest takeaway from your experience so far? How has volunteering at BMC changed your perception of hospitals or healthcare?

I think my biggest takeaway is that everyone is still learning no matter how far along they are in their career. Healthcare is a tricky process and it is constantly changing, which is why collaboration is so important. As a premedical student, I am surrounded by competitiveness and I have found that a lot of people my age who want to become doctors are consumed with the selectivity of medical school that we forget how important it is to learn from one another and work together. Working at BMC is so refreshing because I understand the importance of asking questions and reflecting on conversations, meetings, mistakes, etc. I believe that is an important lesson that will make me a better doctor and ultimately a better person. It’s really changed my perspective on how I approach my education and how I perceive healthcare and the hospital setting. After seeing the BMC staff for so long, I now have a better understanding of the importance of working with others and learning from anyone and everyone.

What would you want someone to know who is thinking about volunteering at BMC?

I would want someone who is thinking about volunteering at BMC to know that they should keep an open mind and to not be afraid to take chances so that they can go for whatever it is they want to do. After working at BMC, I think that if you have an idea that you believe will help patients, you should try to pursue it. If there’s an issue with your idea, you can learn from it and use those lessons to guide future projects. At the end of the day, you get the most out of your experience at BMC if you put a lot into it. Everyone here wants you to succeed and they want you to grow so that you can join the mission because it’s challenging and we need all the help we can get. It’s just a matter of whether or not you are up for the challenge.

      View all Opportunities      

Volunteer of the Month for January/February: Richa Geetey

Richa Greeley (left) and Macy Reed,
Associate Director, Volunteer Services

What is your volunteer role at BMC? How did you decide on this role?

A: My role in BMC is "Patient greeter" in OBGYN clinic. In addition to it, I perform various tasks guided by my supervisor. I decided on this role because OBGYN clinic was undergoing a phase of renovation when I joined. Patients needed to be guided to the new set up. I found this as a nice opportunity to help the pregnant women and new parents in their happy phase of life. This also helped the staff to keep the workflow smooth.

What do you like most about volunteering at BMC?

A: BMC is an amiable organization. The staff is cordial and friendly. Everyone is ready to help and guide me in my work.

What is the biggest takeaway from your experience so far? Can you give an example?

A: Satisfaction is my biggest takeaway. My best experience of Satisfaction as my takeaway from volunteering must be the time when an old lady came to me with her pregnant daughter and was not sure how to proceed to the check in counters as they had no appointment. They needed to be checked in as walk in patient. Also both the women were not in the best of their health. She asked me about the location and the process. I requested them to sit comfortably, gave some water and snacks. Meanwhile I asked one of the ASR to help them with the check in. It was done quickly by the staff. The relief on their faces was evident. I was happy to help with satisfaction to be able to make at least one patient content and delighted.

How has volunteering at BMC changed your perception of hospitals or healthcare?

A: This experience made me realize the amount of patience one has to have to serve the people in need. It is important to be calm and polite and yet work in discipline when a patient entrusts himself/herself to a team of strangers. Hospital is mostly a sad place with stressed people hence the healthcare staff needs to be extra kind. My respect for them has grown multi-folds.

What would you want someone to know who is thinking about volunteering at BMC?

A: My advice would be — don't think twice, just go for it. You will receive more than you give.

      View all Opportunities