Ranch Reflections are articles written by LRHS students and staff who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for Mustangs to branch out beyond traditional news stories.  This edition features one student’s valuable internship experience.

LRHS junior Joyce Gad’s intern badge

Joyce Gad – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – I had no idea that I wanted to be in the medical field until this summer when one job changed that all.

Like any other high schooler growing up, I am thinking about my future, unsure of what I want that to look like. When a month before summer began, an announcement for a job opportunity caught my eye; as a rising junior, all that went through my mind was this was an opportunity to broaden my college application as well as get a job.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced its first “Summer Student Internship” open to all students to be able to work in every department of the hospital.  

Walking in my first day, I was completely unsure of what to expect and how I could possibly be able to help as a high school student surrounded by doctors and nurses. I quickly came to realize that the hospital worked as one giant puzzle piece and not everyone was the same piece. Everyone had their own responsibility, and those responsibilities had to work together.

One of my favorite tasks was going around to patients to make sure they were all comfortable and situated. While this was a basic task as I entered each room, I was able to hear all the patients’ stories; each person had their own situations and experiences.

Whether it was stocking all the medical equipment, running down labs, answering patient phone calls, helping family members visit their loved ones, or making the patients comfortable while helping the nurses, I was able to see what my future could possibly look like. 

I quickly learned that the medical field has many bad days; however, it wouldn’t stop my passion to see the good ones.

In my very first weeks of interning a man had come in clearly in a lot of pain. The hospital was doing everything to make him comfortable but knew there was only so much that could be done. I watched his little daughter and wife come in everyday, saying, “Dad, you’re my hero” and I felt my heart break every time they had to leave.

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As I watched the doctors, nurses, families, and patients themselves fight for their life, I realized that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Before this summer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was something I dreaded.

This internship was able to confirm that not only I have a passion for the medical field, but I also aspire to work in a hospital environment and come back to the very halls of Sarasota Memorial Hospital.