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Ngoc Tung Pham

Health Sciences

Organization
Position Title
Experience Faculty
Overall, my time working as a Co-op student at Eagle Ridge Hospital was a valuable experience that I cherish and has helped me further reaffirm my interest in the healthcare field. Not only was I able to practice and improve my skills and knowledge, but I also had a chance to be involved and learn more about volunteer management - an area in which I have no experience. The position will undoubtedly influence my future academic and career decision. 
Experience Details
Semester
Spring
Year
2023
Application and Interview Tips

Introduction + Preparation

Previous Experience

Despite being my first co-op work term, I was equipped with skills, knowledge, and experiences from many of my previous part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, and most importantly my academic career. Being a health sciences student, many courses that I have taken allowed me to develop great problem-solving and researching abilities, along with a strong background in statistics and number analytics which are often utilized in my position. I've also been working in the service industry for over two years, thus, I had confidence in my multi-tasking, team working, and communication skills. Finally, my prior volunteering experience allow me to better understand and contribute to the work of the Volunteer Resources department, where my co-op term took place.

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

The first round of orientation begins as I was asked to complete a few mandatory online learning modules as a new Fraser Health employee. The courses include a variety of information, policy, and procedure regarding confidentiality, violence prevention, infection control, and respectful workplace. All of which I find really useful and necessary as an entry-level employee in the healthcare field.

On the very first day, I was taken on a tour of my new work site. We visited several departments and units within Eagle Ridge Hospital where I was introduced to the staff by my supervisor. Later that day, I was updated on the current quality improvement project that my team was working on and assigned to my first task. Using the information gathered from Pulse (an intranet site of Fraser Health) and Canva, I created a poster to raise awareness about Hospital-Acquired Urinary Tract Infections or HAUTI.

Later in my first week, I began my training at the Volunteer Resources department where I spent most of my co-op term. Due to my previous volunteer experience, I am somewhat familiar with BetterImpact - a management software that many organizations use to manage their volunteer program. However, this time I'm taking the role of an administrator instead of a volunteer, thus, additional training is needed to help me further understand the system. After reviewing an eight-hour lesson about the software, I was able to smoothly navigate and utilize BetterImpact to manage volunteer records, schedules, and programs. In addition to retrieving valuable data and statistics for review and evaluation.

Day to Day

My regular tasks as a volunteer administrator include responding to volunteers' inquiries, updating volunteer records, and adjusting their schedules as requested. Additionally, on the weekly basis, I also took care of several logistic management assignments, such as ordering screening supplies, submitting photo ID requests for new volunteers, and keeping track of the department asset inventory. On the first day of the week and month, I will also generate hours, schedule, and status reports of the volunteers from the previous week or month to review during our regular weekly team meeting. Later in my work term, when I was more familiar with the department business and program, I was entrusted to become a trainer/ team lead for the Real-time Survey Interviewers program and the VolunTEEN program for high school students.

Learning and Adaptation

As a Co-op student at Eagle Ridge Hospital, I had the chance to observe and experience working in a healthcare environment. Although my work didn't involve providing medical services, as a volunteer administrator, I was always happy to know that our program helped patients, the public, and providers have a great experience in the hospital. 

For the first four months in the position, I had the chance to participate in several quality improvement projects for the hospital. Notably is the regional-wide Delirium Conference organized by Fraser Health for all of their hospital and facility. The conference's main agenda is to demonstrate the result of integrating new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in predicting patient risk of developing delirium. By helping with gathering material for the conference, I learned about the preparation process behind the scene for the big event. As well as knowledge about the latest technology that is being used at the regional hospitals.

After four months, I become more familiar with the Volunteer Resources department's business. Thus, I was entrusted with the task of providing training for new volunteers and helping with the preparation of special events. Despite my limited experience as a team lead and trainer, taking on the leadership role has helped me become more confident and better at communication. On the other hand, creating learning modules for volunteers and preparing special events taught me how to be efficient and organized with my work.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Over the eight months of my co-op position, I rarely encounter any difficulties or challenges. That being said, occasionally, there will be a busier time when projects and events are lining up on top of the daily tasks. The heavy workload could potentially become stressful, however, it is also a great opportunity for me to test my capabilities and further improve my task-management skill.

Another challenging aspect is the work often requires proficiency in BetterImpact, Excel, PowerPoint, Canva, and other applications. Thus, if you aren't already familiar with them, learning is needed before you can perform sufficiently on the job. Nonetheless, those computer programs were widely used in different fields and areas of expertise making the skill I gained from learning and practicing during the co-op term extremely valuable. 

Reflection & Tips
Reflection

Overall, my time working as a Co-op student at Eagle Ridge Hospital was a valuable experience that I cherish and has helped me further reaffirm my interest in the healthcare field. Not only was I able to practice and improve my skills and knowledge, but I also received a chance to be involved and learn more about volunteer management - an area in which I have no experience. The position will undoubtedly influence my future academic and career decision. 

Author

Ngoc Tung Pham

Health Sciences
visibility  259
Apr 24, 2023