The past three weeks that I have spent at the Senior Friendship Center have flown by. From day one, I have observed the doctors and nurses and learned things that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Some days I work with the nursing staff, learning how to take vitals and the importance of the first conversation patients have with the staff. Other days I work with the doctors, observing how they diagnose and treat their patients.
Last week, I learned different ways to manipulate the ankle to determine which part of the anatomy is causing pain. With another patient, I learned the importance of taking the time to talk to them and review their history with them, instead of rushing them through their visit. I’ve also learned how important it is to speak in a language patients can understand and make sure they understand their lab results and prognosis before they leave their appointment.
Each day brings a new experience, and each experience teaches me something different. However, there is one thing that remains the same with everyone I work with... It's the genuine care the staff shows for their patients and the immense love they have for caring for others. The doctors, nurses, and administrative staff who volunteer their time are an inspiration to an aspiring physician like myself. They are some of the best teachers and I am very blessed to have the opportunity to work with them. I have truly enjoyed the time I have spent at the Senior Friendship Center and look forward to the many experiences I will have in the next few weeks.
About Amanda LaPorte
Amanda is participating in Notre Dame’s Summer Service Learning Program at the Friendship Centers’ Clinic in Sarasota. A junior at Notre Dame University, Amanda has a passion for community service and is minoring in poverty studies.The Friendship Centers' clinics, staffed by volunteer physicians, dentists, nurses, dental assistants and hygienists, and clinic aides, are considered a national model for delivery of care to older adults in need.