LewisGale Montgomery volunteer uses experiences to further career in medicine

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 2:13 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Rupabali Samanta began volunteering at LewisGale Montgomery when she was in high school.

“I basically take care of anything that a patient might need,” she said.

She’s now finishing her sophomore year at Virginia Tech with dreams of becoming a doctor. While in college, she’s working as a patient care tech at the hospital. She believes her time as a volunteer helped give her that dream to pursue medicine.

“Even if it’s just giving them a snack or cracking a joke, so that they smile a little bit, kind of cemented my love for medicine and my passion for helping people and others,” Samanta said.

LewisGale Montgomery’s COO Devin Tobin says the hospital has seen a sharp decrease in volunteerism over the last few years.

“We have about 45 volunteers currently and if we compare that to pre-pandemic we had over 150,” she said.

Tobin says volunteers are essential to the patient care experience.

“Volunteers have the opportunity to get involved in everything we do, so whether they’re in our ER, making sure we’re offering excellent care and rounding on our patients, or the first face you meet when you’re greeted at Montgomery, they’re really involved in all aspects of care,” Tobin said.

“Seeing the different roles that each of these occupations kind of provide for a patient was something that was pivotal for me as a volunteer to see, and kind of solidified my the beginnings of my journey into medicine,” Samanta said.

What started as a way to give back has now turned to a future career for Samanta and it’s her love for helping patients that keeps her going.

“I fell in love with the medicine, being able to help people, when they’re maybe, what might be like their worst times, helping them have at least a little bit of brightness and such a gloomy time, became a passion for me,” she said.