Friday, September 9, 2016

Alyssa - Reflecting on the summer

The most challenging part of my internship is navigating the transitional period that the Bureau of Disease Control is currently experiencing. At the beginning of my internship the Director resigned to take on a new job, the research technician went out on maternity leave, and STD typist also left for a new job. The changes in staff resulted in the department being understaffed and everyone taking on new responsibilities. This transition period has been difficult for me because there has not been one point person in charge of my internship. However, due to the transition, I have been given more responsibilities on research projects because of the lack of regular staff. I have more ownership and input on the projects which has helped grow my research skills.

The most rewarding part of my internship is helping out with the Refugee Assistance clinics. These clinics are held off site, in the part of the county where the most refugees live. The clinic is set up in the basement of an un-air-conditioned church and served roughly 120 refugees a week. This summer, Onondaga County has received an influx of new refugees entering the county. All of these refugees must be screened for Tuberculosis, which is what we do at the clinic. The clinic is often very busy and full of people from many different countries. On any given day, I can hear 5 or more different languages being spoken among the refugees. The staff sometimes finds it difficult to communicate with the refugees because of their limited English, however that does not diminish the level of care which is provided. The staff is compassionate and caring towards all of the patients and the staff serve as my role models for how I want to administer care as a future health care professional.

Alyssa Purdy

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