Student Perspective: Lauren and Taylor
October 29, 2015
With the close of October we can officially say goodbye to the simmering summer warmth. However, as we draw nearer to the holidays we come ever closer to the new warmth found in the spirit of giving to others. Our most recent pharmacy externs, Lauren and Taylor, truly captured this spirit as they spent the last thirty days with us here in the Clinic serving those in need. Though they will move on to another site in November, we pray they will take this warmth with them. Please take a moment to read their Student Perspective:
HPFC can be described as a one-stop-shop for the uninsured and under-served patient population in Miami County. Not only is healthcare and medications provided at the clinic but also easy access to people available to transition patients over to Medicare or Medicaid if they are eligible. Social support services are also provided giving patients more information on resources available in the community to fit their needs.
My time at Health Partners Free Clinic this month has been a very rewarding and unique experience. All the staff were very welcoming from the first day I walked into the Clinic. Before coming to HPFC, I didn’t know what to expect since I have never had work experience in a free clinic prior to this rotation. I think it’s awesome that HPFC can provide healthcare for uninsured and under-served patients who wouldn’t be able to seek care anywhere else.
HPFC provided sufficient opportunity to learn from not only healthcare professionals but also the patients. My favorite part has been getting to know patients on a personal level. Each one has overcome so many challenges, and they continue to struggle on a daily basis. On my first day at HPFC, I was told that the most important thing I would learn is how to show compassion. Many patients seek care for different medical reasons, but I learned throughout this month that often many patients just want someone to listen to them. They may come into the Clinic for a physical problem when, in reality, there may be an emotional issue that needs to be addressed before there will be any change physically.
All of the staff members are dedicated to helping these patients overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them in life. They care deeply and will go above and beyond for each patient who walks through their doors. Even though I was only here for a month, the incredible experience I had at HPFC will always be at the forefront of my mind as I continue on in my rotations and in my pharmacy career.
It is often said that many hands make light work. At Health Partners in Troy, it is evident that the entire community has taken this message to heart! From an army of volunteer nurses and doctors to generous financial contributions from members of the community, Health Partners is a testament to all that can be achieved when a community unites around a single vision. Together, through Health Partners, Miami County is showing its heart and strength as it successfully lifts the burden of providing quality healthcare at no cost to its neighbors who are in need.
At Health Partners, I have been reminded that great outcomes can be reached when you lead with compassion and empathy. Take, for instance, the recently retired member of the armed services who was pinned with honors by the President and requires care until his first appointment at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) in 8 months. Also, consider, the single mother who goes to school full time, works nights to provide for her family, and has purchased a plan on the healthcare exchange yet cannot afford to pay her deductible. Despite juggling three full-time jobs (mother, student, and work), she is eager to learn about lifestyle changes that she can make to better control her chronic condition. Think about the young man who works third shift and has trouble remembering to take his blood pressure medication, which has landed him in the hospital several times. In each case, seeking first to understand the patient’s situation and their barriers has been imperative to delivering high-quality healthcare.
Joining the Health Partners team for the last month has been a great pleasure! Through it all, I have gained a better understanding of the gaps that still exist in our national healthcare system and many reminders that healthcare begins with compassion and trust. Thank you for this very fulfilling experience! It reinforces the age-old maxim that many hands make light work.