Celebrating Darnell Bagsik's DAPM Journey

DAPM staff Darnell Bagsik with her parents at pinning ceremony

1. Tell us about your journey at UCLA from your time as a DAPM work study student to DAPM staff member. Why did you choose to pursue your role in DAPM after graduation? 

Since starting with DAPM as a work study student to my time as a staff member, I’ve experienced major personal and professional growth. When I joined the team as an 18-year-old college freshman, I was ready to take part in every project, learn, and absorb everything each day. Being surrounded by such loving and hard-working individuals and knowing that the work we do genuinely makes a difference within the department really inspired me to remain with DAPM after graduating. The learning ever stops, and I continue learning something new from my wonderful colleagues every day! My DAPM team members have been some of the closest people who have seen me grow from my teenager self to the adult I am now. I am more than grateful to have such amazing people constantly supporting me and rooting for me in everything I do! 

2. What does your day-to-day look like?

My current role is defined by my involvement in various projects. I am involved with supporting the Neuroanesthesiology team, the Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs, the Communications team, and the Well-Being team (specifically Work-Life Integration Balance – go WLIB!). Within these different roles, I am able to come into contact with many different people each day who help me learn more about my job as well as myself. From partaking in the amazing DAPM Handoff to facilitating wellness support groups, my role is diverse and provides me with ample opportunity to better serve the department and colleagues alike. 

Darnell Bagsik with nursing class at CSUN pinning ceremony

3. What and/or who influenced your decision to pursue nursing?

Healthcare has always been a passion of mine, and I always knew that, in one way or another, I would pursue career that focuses on equitable healthcare for my surrounding community. I decided to pursue nursing because I have seen the impact it can make on patients’ lives. Being able to get to know my patients and assist them with their needs during some of the most vulnerable moments of their life really called out to me in a special way that I cannot put fully into words. This has only proven true during my clinical experience, as I got to see, firsthand, the difference that a good nurse can make in a patient’s healing journey. I have, also, always looked up to the nurses in my family (my sister and aunt) and knew that I wanted to help others in the same way that they so graciously do. All of this really fueled me to pursue nursing, and I can confidently say that I have chosen the right path for myself.

4. What projects have you completed with DAPM that you are especially proud of?

One project that I am immensely proud of is assisting with the development of the first-ever department-wide lactation room, which is still currently under production. The need for more accommodating lactation spaces throughout the hospital is quite dire. I am proud that our department took the initiative to lead by example and develop designated spaces that any DAPM member can use with safety and privacy. This project has been years in the making, and I hope that I will be able to see the physical project come to fruition soon!

Darnell Bagsik at pinning ceremony with faculty

5. Please feel free to share any memorable experiences of your time working within DAPM.

My most memorable experiences with DAPM are definitely any time Carla has given me free food. She and I always talk about this, but I used to come before or in between classes just so I could grab a bite of whatever food she had out that day. It is quite funny, and looking back at it now, I really appreciated those moments when I just got to chat with my colleagues while grabbing a bite to eat. Any time that I have gotten to spend with the amazing people in this department has been special to me, and I will always hold these memories close to my heart.  

6. What are your hopes for your future career? 

My goal is to become a pediatric nurse. During all of my clinical rotations, the pediatric population was my absolute favorite, and I am super excited to work with them in the future! I am grateful for everything I have learned thus far and am looking forward to all of the knowledge I will be gaining soon.