Written by Minh Hoang, Haverford College ’15

As a pre-medical student who wishes to attend medical school, I welcome opportunities to learn more about hospital and the field. I recently had the opportunity to attend Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s orientation thanks to the connection between them and Bright Prospect. PVHMC’s orientation is monthly, and is designed to teach new employees nearly every aspect and rules that they need to know about the hospital. Since I was curious to learn more about what it is like to work in a hospital, I decided to sign up and join the new employees for the orientation. What I have learned during the orientation gave me a chance to reflect on several necessary traits.

One of the first major topics that the orienteers discussed about was the important of cleanliness and infection control. I was surprised at the amount of time and dedication PVHMC takes to ensure that hospital rooms and staff members stay as clean as possible. Nearly everything is wiped down daily, either with sanitizers or even bleach wipes. The most important task though was hand washing. As someone who works in a college dining center, I already know that clean hands are important, but hospitals really emphasize it. Hands are washed before and after every interaction. It’s amazing that so much time is spent on it (between 18 to 56 minutes depending on the type of soap used). It made me aware that if I am going in the medical field, I need to become accustomed to a daily routine.

The next several sessions of topics were what really made me think about several important issues. The Director of Environmental Safety, the Supervisor for Social Services, and a Patient Relations officer all gave their own presentations about the importance of communication between the employees and their departments. I learned that all the workers must have complete awareness about their surroundings and must have good judgment. If a disaster, such as a code pink (child abduction) occurs, then everyone must keep a close eye for anything suspicious and report it. Another example of communication is between the workers and the patients. PVHMC takes patient rights and confidentiality very seriously, so anyone working with patients should know what information to withhold from gossiping workers. Communication with the patients themselves is important. Patients should always be aware of their rights, so workers must constantly be talking with them. Doctors must also always communicate with the nurses; patient health is in the hands of the hospital, and one wrong dose or mistake can mean the difference between life and death. Hospital workers should always know what is going on.

I have known that doctors must keep good relationships with their patients. I’ve learned from Bright Prospect that medical schools are looking out for applicants who have the people skills necessary to interact with patients. As patients and their family member are given constant updates, the deliverance of the news must be sympathetic with the patients.  The hospital orientation helped to reinforce the thought that I need to constantly improve my people skills if I want to work in the hospital.

Being given the chance to experience an orientation first hand was a great learning experience. I would like to thank Bright Prospect for giving me the opportunity to tour the hospital, and also to PVHMC for providing that opportunity to Bright Prospect.