With her warm and welcoming demeanor, Karina Gallardo has been a guiding force, shaping the aspirations of future healthcare professionals at JVS SoCal’s CareerWork$ Medical program in Los Angeles. 

Starting as a medical receptionist, Karina understands the intricacies and demands of the administrative side of healthcare. Through her own journey from volunteering to interning, she gained invaluable insights into the healthcare ecosystem, allowing her to relate intimately to her students’ aspirations and challenges. 

Karina’s healthcare journey began in high school where she volunteered, and it continued throughout her college years. She combined her biology studies with internships, creating a blend of education and practical experience that prepared her for her initial professional role in healthcare. During college, her journey continued as she interned while pursuing her biology studies, ultimately paving the way for her entry into the healthcare field. Her additional pursuit of counseling psychology further solidified her passion for working with students, leading her onto the path of teaching. 

Her introduction to the healthcare field involved internships and volunteering at the Los Angeles General Medical Center. She started as a Receptionist at Adventist Health White Memorial, later progressing to become a Program Coordinator, showcasing her growth and unwavering dedication. 

Motivated by her interest in counseling psychology and a strong desire to assist students, Karina found her calling in teaching through CareerWork$ Medical. Her background as a healthcare professional enables her to embody empathy and compassion, qualities she instills in her students. Her story stands as an inspiring example for those aspiring to enter the healthcare field. “I adore working with students and always yearned to teach, and CareerWork$ Medical has granted me that opportunity,” Karina stated. 

As an instructor, Karina has found her calling. With an affable and confident demeanor, she comfortably addresses her students, drawing from her own experiences to guide and enlighten them. “I think everyone comes with a little bit of hesitation about starting this program. But what I can say is, think about the bigger picture. Look at the light at the end of the tunnel. It might seem so far off, but once you’re done and once you’ve arrived, it will be worth it, because you can take this anywhere,” she advises her prospective students with an air of assurance. 

Throughout her career, Karina has embraced valuable lessons, one being the importance of building connections with her students. Understanding that trust can’t be forced, she strives to create an environment of understanding and respect, recognizing that everyone comes from unique walks of life. “I think it definitely comes back to my background. Counseling psychology has been very helpful in working with different type of characters and personalities, different people being adaptable, being flexible to everyone’s differences,” she explains. Her flexibility and adaptability shine through, making her classroom a place where every student feels valued and heard. “If we can mirror empathetic language throughout our classroom setting, we can bring that into the field,” she shares, emphasizing the significance of empathy in the healthcare industry. 

Karina sees being an instructor as more than just teaching. It’s about forming real bonds with her students, helping them develop, and cheering for their achievements. She feels incredibly happy when she witnesses her students beginning their healthcare careers or using their skills in different parts of life. 

Learn more about CareerWork$ Medical at JVS SoCal Los Angeles. 

Transforming Lives in Healthcare: Karina Gallardo’s Impact in CareerWork$ Medical

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