From Our Scholar Blogs:

Nadege on the Value of Hands-On Learning

Nadege on the Value of Hands-On Learning


This semester at Michigan State University (MSU) I had the amazing opportunity to receive a hands-on education working in my community! First, I spent time at a nearby nursing home where I was able to assist elderly people with3 daily activities like eating, showering, and dressing. For four hours every week, I would also volunteer at a local hospital and shadow nurses as they went on their rounds. I often would be able to help out with the finer details of hospital care by getting water or ice for bed-ridden or sick patients. Finally, I had the opportunity to tutor MSU athletes in the math and physiology classes from my freshman year.

All of these extra-curricular activities provided me with the chance to develop new skills and strengthen my current abilities. Tutoring student athletes gave me the unique opportunity to learn the art of teaching. Through the process, I became more comfortable with being a leader and authority figure to my peers. For example, being able to ask a student who was ten times my height and size to put away his phone and give me his full attention was something that may have intimidated me in the past. Now, however, I am much more confident in myself and my ability to teach others!

Because I want to work in the health care field in the future, my volunteering experiences have only motivated me more and proven to me that I am pursuing my true calling. The time that I spent volunteering at the nursing home and shadowing nurses has allowed me to become more empathetic and to cultivate precious hospitality skills. Having a hands-on education has familiarized me with medical terms like S.O.B.—which means short of breath—while simultaneously allowing me to improve my communication and teamwork skills. All my experiences from this semester, from tutoring to volunteering, have shaped me and given me the tools to become the type of health care professional that I want to be in the future.

As I look forward to the summer, I am planning to work in Rwanda with an organization called HDI, or the Health Development Initiative. There, I will have the opportunity to work in their health promotion sector and teach rural residents about good nutrition, high school students about HIV and STIs, and the entire community about healthy living. I am incredibly thankful for my experiences working in the health care field and tutoring at MSU this semester because I can already see how useful these skills will be this summer!