What drew me to the medical/health field was helping a family friend take care of her mother for three years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. It was sad for me to see her mental functions decline in a short amount of time. In high school, I was always interested in the human body and brain. I’m the type of person that likes knowing the “why” and the “how” of everything. The organ systems inside of us are very complex. Even though some medical concepts are still unknown, we are truly lucky to be able to know all the things we know now and the healthcare field is advancing even more. At first, it was very easy to take care of her and then it became difficult. I learned many qualities during that time. The most important skill was patience. After she passed away, I started thinking about aging. Many adults decide to take care of their elderly parents but the reality is that most people can’t do that, not because they don’t want to, but because it can require full-time commitment. Some people can’t quit their jobs because of personal circumstances so they decide that having their parents in a long-term care facility is better. I decided to take a Certified Nurse Assistant class. We had over 100 hours of hands-on clinical experience with patients in a nursing facility. I really enjoyed working with seniors that had different conditions. It honestly warmed my heart listening to their life stories. Some of them had daily visitors and others haven’t had visitors in a while so it felt nice being there for them when they felt lonely. Once I got my license, I applied for a job right away. Even though I love being a CNA because it’s more one-on-one patient care, I’m currently trying to become a Registered Nurse because I’ll be able to develop care plans, assess health problems and provide medical information.
Though I began my undergraduate career as a journalism major, I eventually shifted my focus onto a path in healthcare as I realized that I was passionate about fighting for social justice and health equity. My concentration in public health at Stony Brook University focused on the American healthcare system. During these studies, as I came to recognize that many of our own problems are, in fact, far worse elsewhere in the world, I dedicated myself to learning about global health inequity and healthcare in underserved populations. This dedication to improving health equity has taken me around the world and helped me understand how I can best support low-resource communities.
As a nurse, I hope to identify and troubleshoot weaknesses and obstacles in the medical system that prevent people from receiving adequate care; I also hope to support patient-centered, evidence-based approaches to treatment. This desire was kindled by encounters I had working with youth as a health volunteer in Nicaragua. I met women struggling with physical health issues, dangerous and abusive partners, dire economic circumstances, and severe lack of adequate healthcare. Around the world, insufficient government resources often result in similar conditions — including pervasive crime and femicide. I feel a deep desire to do more than retelling their narrative: I want to provide quality care that includes social circumstances and psychological well-being.
Such a holistic approach to healthcare — and to the kind of nursing that feels most meaningful — requires specialized, trauma-informed, evidence-based training to protect and support vulnerable patients. The Center for Global Initiative and the Office for Science and Innovation appeal to me because they encourage leadership in nursing research that could shape healthcare on a global scale. The research program, in particular, would enable me to explore more patient-centered care that considers the intersectional nature of a patient’s interaction with their health and community.
My development from childhood to high school is mainly affected by financial difficulties and domestic violence in my family. My father is a violent person who abused my grandmother when I was young. This happened four times per week on average. I will never forget how helpless, frustrated, and overwhelmed we were. Pursuing a nurse career is not only a dream to me, but it is a promise to my beloved 85-year-old grandmother, a lifelong commitment to protecting others after witnessing her abuse and humiliation. I have never forgotten or given up on this, no matter how hard life has been.
My appreciation for this dynamic field has further grown as I maintain a high standard in academic excellence, international horizons enrichment, and healthcare-related social commitments in the undergraduate study, regardless of my severe financial difficulties and challenges in raising my young brother without the support from parents. I acknowledge the challenges that researchers had to overcome in their process of proposing innovative prevention plans, feasible intervention, and devising healthcare screening strategies in a global aspect. My resilience encouraged me to pursue a top graduate nurse degree as I desire to expand my knowledge and contribute to the global healthcare community, eventually developing a professional career in the nursing domain where I can apply my expertise at the forefront of healthcare.
Trisha Chau is a medical student at Oregon Health & Science University. She aspires to be a physician and an advocate for her patients and her community. During her free time, she enjoys doing martial arts, learning languages, and travelling.
In 2006, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She had just moved to the USA from Ghana, Africa. My family’s lives halted for a second as we tried to find ways to provide her with proper care in the USA. My grandmother did not speak English and her quality of life was deteriorating relatively quickly. As a family, we lacked the financial resources to place her in a quality assisted living facility. We decided we would have to take care of her on our own and keep her safe. My grandmother was prone to leaving the house and wandering around town until we could find her. This is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and is quite dangerous. Due to time constraints and the lack of resources I had to quit all extracurricular activities so I could go home immediately after school to help take care of my grandmother. My main responsibility was to keep her safe and help provide care that would increase her quality of life. The feeling of helping someone when they cannot entirely help themselves is very rewarding. I put my interest aside and would care for her every day until she passed away.
Throughout those years of selfless care, I realized I would love to help people from all walks of life. Healthcare is diverse, and you can help people from childbirth, all the way to end of life care. Knowing this gave me the drive and ambition as a young girl to choose the career path of being in healthcare. There is a time in most people’s lives where they will need some sort of help. Knowing I am able to provide some sort of comfort or care in an individual’s time of need is very rewarding. Having a career that is based on serving and caring for other people is the selfless life I strive to live.
Beginning a college education can be daunting, especially when you consider your bottom line. Although the cost of tuition can seem frightening, it’s important to remember that paying for school doesn’t have to drain your bank account or put you into debt. Scholarships – which are gift-based financial awards that do not have to be paid back – can really chip away at that bottom line and make school much more affordable. There are many of scholarship opportunities out there specifically for those entering a medical or healthcare field. From aspiring medical assistants to advanced care nurses, this scholarship guide can help you find the educational funding you need to begin your healthcare training.
Medical & Health Assistants and Aides
Students enrolled in campus or online medical assistant programs, medical billing and coding programs, and related healthcare programs can apply for numerous scholarships created specifically for them. Some of these scholarships will pay just enough to cover books and a few smaller expenses, while others might be enough to bridge the gap between what financial aid a student receives from the federal government and what they still owe before starting classes. Applying for multiple scholarships can help increase your chances of getting the aid you need to begin your education.
Enrolling in a nursing program online or on-campus is challenging enough without the added pressure of figuring out how to pay for it. These scholarships are designed especially for those who intend to work as nurses. As with scholarships for any other field, it’s vitally important to apply for all those you think you might be eligible for to improve your chances of getting funded. Keep in mind that receiving multiple scholarships can greatly relieve the financial burden of higher education. Here are a few scholarships meant for students in RN programs, LPN/LVN programs, and other nurse training programs.
Technicians & Technologists
The need for technicians and technologists in the medical and healthcare fields is booming, and that means plenty of educational programs to train you for the workforce. Earning scholarships can help you reduce your out-of-pocket burden. Scholarships in this field can be specific to one profession – such as those specifically for EMTs – but more general scholarships for technicians and technologists also exist. Here are a few great options to look into.
Dental Hygienists & Assistants
Dental assistants and hygienists provide preventative care such as regular cleanings and checkups that catch problems before they become painful emergencies. Though dentists might get all the credit for someone’s healthy teeth, it’s actually the assistants and hygienists that do the bulk of the work in a dentist’s office. If you’re enrolled in a dental assistant program or dental hygiene program, see if one of these scholarships can help cover the costs.
Leadership & Administration
When someone thinks of a hospital or clinic, they usually think about hard-working nurses and doctors tending to patients. They rarely think about the people who work behind the scenes to keep everything moving smoothly – the leadership and administration personnel. In administration, strong leadership skills are a critical for an efficient and safe hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. Despite the importance of these positions, they are often overlooked by aspiring medical professionals as viable career choices. If you’re in a healthcare administration degree program or pursuing a degree in healthcare management, these scholarships may be for you.
Special Interest Students
Diversity is what makes the world go ‘round, and that’s certainly true in medicine, where minorities, women, and other special populations bring unique and valuable perspectives to the industry. There are numerous scholarships available in healthcare that help level the playing field for those who face personal struggles or financial burdens. These scholarships provide a peek into what’s available for students from all walks of life.
Health & Healing
One of the most important components of medical treatment is the follow up therapy and rehabilitation. There are a number of special professions dedicated to helping patients make a complete recovery from their illness or injury, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and their respective assistants. Working in one of these positions can require extensive schooling, including graduate training and licensing – none of which are cheap. To alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with being in school for an extended period of time, several scholarships are available for those looking to enter or further a career in health and healing.