“The people here stood with me,” says Om Waleed*, recounting her young daughter’s need for surgery. “Even though my family is all the way in Syria, the people here stood with me.” Om Waleed goes on to explain how she was terrified when she learned that her daughter needed to have one of her kidneys removed. She goes on to say, however, that the support of the clinic staff throughout the entire process gave her ease. Her daughter received the surgery needed, and Om Waleed began to grow a close relationship with the team. After a couple of years, they asked her to come and work with them in administration and reception.
“I love the people here,” she states, “I consider them my family.” During Om Waleed’s time working in the clinic, she has noticed significant professional and interpersonal development. “When people say I’m a good worker, I feel proud of myself,” says Om Waleed. She continues to explain that she feels she has a place in the clinic, that she is needed, that her work is appreciated, and that she makes an impact in the clinic. She adds, “I prepare everything for the doctors; they know that when they come into the clinic, I will be prepared!”
Om Waleed also mentions growing interpersonally, as she has learned about patient reception and interacting with patients. She notices the impact that having positive, encouraging interactions with patients has on them. “I have learned love,” she adds, saying that the compassion she sees the staff offer to the many people coming into the clinic is admirable. “The love here is wonderful.”
As Om Waleed looks towards the future, a new dream has begun to be realized. “My dream for the future is to become a translator,” she says, “and to be able to teach my children. I wasn’t able to study, so it’s my dream for my children to study, and I want to teach them.” As she learns and practices English with the other staff at the clinic and teaches her children what she knows, this dream of Om Waleed is well on its way to becoming a reality!