Old age is symbolic to wisdom and victory over the challenges a person encounters in the course of life. However, my experiences while working at a geriatric home were enlightening on the plight of the elderly in today’s world. My first day as an aid worker was significant in the determination of my career choice. I was assigned to clean a room labeled “Funeral room”. A bucketful of 2% Sodium bicarbonate at my disposal while an eerie feeling crept over me, my first working day commenced. The nurses taught me the fundamental and essential skills in patient care. The significance of each task be it feeding, transporting, washing patients or cleaning instruments and walls was impressed upon. My initial days as an aid man were inspiring and motivated me to illustrate my abilities in health care.
However, I realized that my inspiration waned every day I worked as an aid man. The experience of elderly people reliving their glory days while lamenting on what has become of them was demoralizing. Their constant pining for their families, sons and daughters while I fed them was depressing. Despite these, their optimism for better days to come was infectious. Their hope that their loved ones would come to their rescue was never waning. He or she is busy was the response I received every time I asked why their loved ones left them. The cruel truth was they were abandoned for various reasons.
The tipping factor in my career choice was the events that followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union. At the time, the economic condition of Kazakhs was disastrous. The condition of Kazakhstan was characterized by inflation, poverty and poor health care. In this period, my mother got a Tuberculosis infection. The rate of her infection led to the removal a significant part of her lung surgically. Her infection was characterized by poor health facilities and inadequate provision of health care services like pharmacies and clinics. Her narration on how she effortlessly pulled herself up after her operation to glimpse at me through the window was touching.
My mother’s predicament was critical to my decision making on my vision for my future, and the future of Kazakhstan’s health care service provision. I realized that my mother’s hard work to provide education for me would be wasted if; I chose to remain as an aid man in a geriatric home. The optimal application of my education and knowledge would be to pursue a career which facilitates the reduction of health problems in individuals. Studying toxicology at Penn state University will enable me to help in the prevention of significant health problems and diseases. Therefore, reduction in the number of elderly people abandoned by their families because of health problems and unaffordable health care services. These experiences resonate critically with my interests and goals. The necessity for peace of mind is absolute to me and can only be realized by helping others while improving the quality of life in my surroundings and country.
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