It is hard to believe that I am already at the midpoint of my internship. My learning goals were to become familiar working in a healthcare setting, to apply my knowledge and further learn about health and illnesses, and to promote a healthy lifestyle through this hands-on experience. I have met an incredible group of people, including healthcare professionals, patients, and families. I am fulfilling the goals I set for myself, and everyday I learn something new.
In addition to the daily tasks of monitoring patients’ development on growth charts, viewing patients’ medical and family history, and assisting in conducting dietary and physical activity counseling, I also performed quite a few exciting tasks. I helped conduct mail-out surveys for patients and families. The survey includes questions that could be very helpful for the Clinic staff members to assess how the they are doing in terms of educating and treating the patients. We would like to see not merely changes in statistics such as patients’ weight and body mass index (BMI), but also improvements in their diet and physical activity. I also designed posters for an upcoming event, BMI Fun Day 2012, which is an interactive four-hour program provided to our patients in a specific age group. The program consists of bike riding activities from a non-profit organization the Bluegrass Cycling Club, how to prepare a food budget, well-balanced meals for school from Culinary Arts students from Sullivan University, and family-oriented team building activities. I am very excited for this program. It will be the BMI Clinic’s first program outside of the hospital, and it will provide opportunities for children and their parents’ to interact with Clinic staff and other healthcare professionals on a more personal level.
I am monitoring my growth by keeping a daily journal of what I do everyday and recording thoughts and reflection at the end of the day. I am working with my supervisor on a daily basis, so I discuss with her any questions and ideas that I have. Other clinic staff also check in with me to see how I am doing. I am the most proud of the tasks that I take on outside of the responsibilities that I was originally assigned. I enjoyed doing extra work for the clinic as much as I can, such as making posters for the program, designing pamphlets for the dietitian, and compiling and analyzing data. I feel very accomplished for making every little contribution to the clinic and to the population who are suffering from obesity and other related health problems. So far it has been a pleasure working here. Besides increasing my academic and professional knowledge, I made great connections at the Clinic and at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital at large. I feel like I really fit in here. I can definitely see myself working in a healthcare setting in the near future. – Yan Chu ’13