Blair Jones

I started volunteering with Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (then Children's Memorial Hospital)  in August 2010 and have been with the hospital ever since.  I am extremely passionate about both medicine and children. Through my life experiences and volunteering I have also realized I am particularly passionate about infants and their health care and developmental processes. I began at Children's as an infant care volunteer, which meant I got to see any children of ages 0-3 years old throughout the entire hospital. I really enjoyed this position because I got to see patients of different ages and with a variety of conditions. Seeing such a variety helped illuminate the wonderful work the hospital was doing. Whether I was assigned to work with a three year old or a three month old, the hospital staff was incredibly attentive to the child's individual needs and care. Although I loved my original position at Children's, I was really excited when I became a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) volunteer at the start of my junior year.

I think my passion for infants arises partly from the fact that I gained four half-siblings between the time when I turned eleven and when I turned fourteen. Within these three years I went to countless medical appointments (both obstetrician and pediatrician), learned all about prenatal care and development from my mother and step-mother, and finally was in the hospital room when my mother gave birth. These experiences sparked my interests, which have been developing ever since. Being in the NICU lets me learn more about the experiences of premature infants, while allowing me to be a part of the infant's development process. One of the strengths of Lurie Children's is that the hospital focuses on all aspects of patient care. They realize that there is more to a patient's wellness than just the medical care, and they employ staff members and volunteers to address a variety of these aspects. As a volunteer, I enjoy supplementing some of the medical care with another important quality for infant development, which is human interaction. Sometimes this means rocking a child to sleep, and sometimes this means playing with a bored infant. In the end, it makes me happy to know that I am helping the staff and the patients by providing comfort and play.

I learned a lot from my experience as a volunteer by taking the service-learning class in the Center for Experiential Learning. This class helped me to think more critically about the impact of my service and about the infants that I work with. Ultimately, these experiences and reflections have taught me about my own desires to become a physician and have shaped how I hope to serve others in the future. 

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