National Health Corps Philadelphia Blog

Through personal daily contact with patients, I have learned the power of speaking to individuals--not at them-- and listening and responding to their personal needs and concerns. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting down with a patient who may be battling chronic pain or food insecurity, and reassuring them we have programs and resources in place to provide them with support and solutions.
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While the population I serve are primarily residents of West Philadelphia, I do get the chance to interact with patients that have just recently immigrated to Philadelphia. Learning about resources like the Philadelphia Department of Public Health-Health Centers, they come with hopes of being connected to healthcare and social services, where we try to help regardless of insurance status or documentation.
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As a student who studied and researched health and medicine throughout college, I do not find the medical lingo and illnesses foreign as I have become accustomed to the norms and terms. I constantly try to remind myself and not taken aback when someone asks me, “Is a blood sugar of 300 high?” or “I only take my blood pressure medication when I start feeling funny."
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By providing education about nutrition, teaching the skills to prepare meals, and providing information about how and where to purchase nutritious foods, we hope that patients will make healthier choices and improve their life-long health from an early age. We acknowledge the existence of social determinants of health, such as access to transportation or living near a grocery store that sells produce at an affordable price, so we try to provide participants with resources on where they can access food near where they live as well as culturally competent recipes that use shelf-stable items to make cooking more feasible.
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They stressed how important it was that they got the medicine and how thankful they were for my help. Being able to give the patient the help they needed and seeing the positive impact it had really highlighted how important my role is as a patient advocate and made the experience even more worthwhile
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Poor piping in homes leads to leaks and mold, which can be an asthma trigger. Poor air circulation leads to accumulation of dust and other common air pollutants that can make it difficult for these children to breathe. Poor foundations in homes can lead to pests, which can also exacerbate asthma symptoms. With all of these factors that play a role in these children’s health, what can be done?
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