In the time that I have spent in the Creative Arts Fellowship, I have been able to explore my own artistic abilities through a topic closely tied to my career path. After researching the history of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in nursing, I look forward to implementing my new perspective on my own future career as a Filipino-American in the healthcare field of occupational therapy.
Through interviews with recruited nurses and discussions with my mentor Dr. Young Ji Lee, I have gained an in-depth understanding of the impact of diversity and advocacy in the healthcare field. The stories I heard from the nurses I interviewed emphasized how their personal experiences and field as a whole would benefit from a stronger focus on cultural sensitivity both in and out of their work. These are stories that I am proud to showcase in my project and carry with me in the future. Hearing these stories would not be possible at all without Dr. Lee, who helped me structure my interviews in a way that focuses on advocacy in the healthcare field.
I consider this new perspective on advocacy in healthcare as the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the Creative Arts Fellowship, but I also deeply cherish the lessons I’ve learned through the ability to work on my artistic skills through my project. As a pre-health student, I have never had the opportunity until now to treat my art as something more than just a hobby on the side, much less something that I can use to shape my role in healthcare. During these past several months working on my project, I have learned how to navigate through my own creative process in a way that feels meaningful to my personal story as a Filipino-American in healthcare and the broader goal of bringing light to all Filipinos in nursing. It certainly also helped to be a part of such a talented group of students also working in the fellowship. Bouncing ideas off of each other and being a part of each other’s creative processes was a new and eye-opening experience for me.
The Creative Arts Fellowship has given me a unique opportunity in which I was able to bring recognition to a subject intertwined with my personal life and professional goals. As I near the completion of my creative project and end my time in the fellowship, I look forward to finding my place at occupational therapy school and using my passion and improved understanding of the field to push further for cultural sensitivity.