Meaningful year of service in federally qualified clinics
MCPN Community HealthCorps Member (Current Employee) – Denver, CO – July 19, 2016
Serving in a refugee clinic day in and day out was the most rewarding and gratifying experience. Many people say they wish they could travel the world. In my case, the world came to my office every day. Each day I educated refugee families on how to fill out medical admission forms, patient rights and responsibilities, as well as utilized US medical systems. Another of my larger tasks was providing walk-in assistance for refugee patients with issues regarding billing, Medicaid, housing, and other needs.
Ignorance is bliss for many people. But when trying to connect with patients who have been through more than I could ever imagine, it's better to show compassion towards what they have left behind as well as their newfound lives. Over my year of service, I learned how to be culturally sensitive, competent in what I was teaching and explaining, and so many more things.
The hardest part of my service was learning how to advocate whole-heartedly for my patients. After becoming a patient navigator, I finally understood the importance of standing up for those who cannot do it for themselves - not because they aren't incompetent, but because the system is too complex and complicated to automatically know how to navigate through it, let alone in a different language.
The most enjoyable part of my service was getting to build rapport with individual patients and their families. Knowing that I was able to relieve any bit of stress and frustration from these people was the most rewarding experience I could have ever asked for this year.