Confirmation by a Smile


“I knew I wanted to go into pediatrics when this little boy started to smile,” says Nareg Thomas, a Care Extender at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. “When I first entered the room, I was a little nervous because the nurses had been trying all day to interact with the boy, but he was super introverted. I told him jokes and played with his toys and little by little there was a crack at the side of his mouth. When his mouth curled into a smile I knew I was in. After that, he started jumping around in his crib and telling me jokes. To me, internships and volunteering is what helps you confirm if you want to go into healthcare or not. In the Care Extender program, I’ve found that I’ve learned just as much from the patient interactions as I do hanging around the doctors and nurses.”

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