Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Minor Challenge

     I am at the end of week five of my internship.  These weeks seem to be passing so quickly!  Arriving at the Health Leads Office at 9:00, I began triage.  Although I feel more comfortable than previous weeks, there is always that initial nervousness making the first call to clients.  During those initial 30 minutes of triage, I was unable to get in contact with anyone.  This can be frustrating and discouraging.  I want to help, but if I am unable to contact clients, there is little else I can do.  
     I spent the remainder of my time at the Health Leads Office reaching out to each of my clients.  This week I encountered a minor impediment.  One of my clients informed me that my referral to an office, which would assist the client with health insurance, was not effective.  My client had contacted the number I provided, but the client had not heard back.  I felt terrible.  I took the initiative to call the office myself.  I, too had no luck.  Hopefully, when I return to the Health Leads Office this Monday, I will hear back from them.  This is disheartening.  The client took my advice and gave the office a call, but it did not work.  Yet, I remain positive and determined to find another alternative referral for my client.  
     Although it is always great to see progress and success, I think it is important to acknowledge setbacks, as well.  This week I definitely encountered a challenge.  This is okay.  I am confident that my next blog will encompass a more positive experience and demonstrate growth as a Health Leads Advocate.   

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lend A Helping Hand!

     I am at the end of week three of my internship.  Oh, what a week it was!  After arriving at 9:00 a.m at the Health Leads Office, I spent the first 30 minutes on Triage.  Triage entails contacting clients about whom we have limited information.  Clients are often referred to us through physicians.  They fill out an initial form.  The form includes very minuscule details.  In order to adequately help them, Advocates need to get a better understanding of their situation.  Therefore, it is up to Health Advocates to reach out to each client in Triage and learn more.  This way we know exactly what we can do for them.  Once we grasp a deeper understanding, the client in Triage can be assigned to an Advocate.    
     After spending 30 minutes working on Triage, I then proceeded to get in contact with each of the clients assigned to me.  I definitely was much more confident this week.  For some of my clients, I could only leave voicemails.  However, I was able to get in touch with a few families.  They expressed to me their needs for resources including financial assistance, ESL classes, and food pantries.  It was my goal to help each of them.  I spent time on Monday researching places where they could receive the help they needed.  
     An experience really stood out to me this week.  A client expressed a need for financial assistance.  I was able to provide the client with the address and information that could be of assistance.  I have never received such satisfaction in my life.  The client was so appreciative and happy.  I was truly touched.  This showed me that sometimes even the smallest gesture can mean so much.  I cannot wait to learn more, do more, and help more at this New York Health Leads Internship!

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
- John Holmes

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The First Call!

     My first official week at Nassau University Medical Center has ended.  What a truly incredible first week!  I arrived Monday morning for a 9:00-12:00 morning shift.  In the heart of the pediatric section of the hospital, Health Leads is a small office.  My project manager was incredibly kind and helped to get me familiar with a program that we would be using, called Client Connect.  Through Client Connect, I will be able to access each of my client’s information.  In addition, I can search and locate the resources for my clients.  It even allows me to narrow the searches to areas nearby their homes. 
     After familiarizing myself with the program, it was time to call my first client.  I was to introduce myself and let them know that I was the Health advocate that would be working with them.  Filled with both excitement and nervousness, I dialed my first client.  The majority of my clients are foreign-speaking.  Therefore, I needed the help of a translator to communicate with them.  I was a little disappointed that I only was able to get in contact with one client.  I left a voicemail for those that I could not reach.  I plan on following up with them again next Monday.  It was definitely a great first day, and I learned a lot.  I am confident that in the upcoming weeks I will get in contact with all my clients and do my best to provide them with the help that they need.  There is so much more that I hope to learn. 
     On Thursday evening, the Health Advocates came together for a reflection session at Hofstra.  We listened to guest speakers, who provided insightful information to assist us in our work as Advocates.  We heard stories and watched clips from people in need of medical treatment.  The Advocates spent time thinking about different scenarios and worked to ensure that we are prepared for various situations that we may encounter at Health Leads.