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February 26, 2007

Smiley's training session

So on friday i went to smiley's clinic to find out exactly what i would be doing there...it was very different than i expected it was going to be. There were three other people from my class there and we met with two people that will be supervising us. We all had laptop computers and logged into the the clinic's system. It was really cool, with our username we have access to see any of the patients records like we could see what medications they were on and when their last visit was and everything. Then the guy gave us a blank chart that we had to fill out about a patient. It had questions like 'was this person taught how to use an inhaler in the last six months' , 'do they have an asthma action plan', and 'when was their last spirometry?' On the clinic's network, we can search through all of the patient's previous appointments that have been summarized by doctors, any tests they have undergone, any hospital discharge papers etc, to find the answers to fill in the chart. We went through a couple of practice runs with random patients together and then at the end we had to fill in the chart by ourselves. It felt really crazy to me that we were allowed to look at all this information about an individiual that we didnt even know--i mean were just college student with no previous medical experience at all. Its nuts. anways...once we went through a couple runs, it was pretty easy to get the hang of. i could see how the process could be pretty boring doing it for two hours straight though. I hope end up enjoying my time there.

February 15, 2007

Open Arms Orientation

So I spent my valentines day at an orientation for Open Arms and taking a midterm. It was great fun. Anyways...to get to open arms i had to take a bus and i really had no idea where I was going so it was kind of scary. I eventually got there and I was like 15 minutes early so I went in and they said the orientation was not at 2 but at 3. crap. So the guy i talked to there was actually really nice and told me about a library that was just a few blocks away so i studied there for an hour. When i came back there were about 5 other people there for orientation there as well. I was the only student from the U which kind of suprised me. Anyways, the head volunteer guy talked about how the orginazation was started and everything then gave us a tour. It's a really incredible place when you think about it. The builidng is small and the kitchen is even tinier so its amazing to think that they can make over 100,000 meals in a year. At the end i kind of had to rush to leave because it got done at 4 and i had a midterm at 4:40. it was stressful. The guy said that the next step was that they would look at the hours of availability that i gave them and would contact me to let me know when i start. Overall, i really like this orginization...everyone there is extreeemely nice and it seems like a really great work environment. Im excited to start volunteering there.

February 13, 2007


Today in class we did some implicit association tests. I did three: race, sexuality, and weight. All three of the results kind of suprised me. For the race one, it said I had a 'moderate' preference of white people over black people. This was suprising because I don't consider myself racist at all and would like to think that I dont allow stereotypes that society sets about race affect what I think. The test seemed kind of flawed however. I would like to see how the results changed if at first you had to associated with 'good' things instead of 'bad' things--i really think that reversing the order would make a difference. Also, for the weight and sexuality test, it said I had moderate preference for overweight people and a slight preference for gay people. I never really thought about that and I suppose the results could be kind of scewed, but if they are true, i think its pretty cool that I'm able to overcome the stereotypes held about these two groups of people.

February 11, 2007

Volunteer fair

This week I went to the Health Center Volunteer Fair where there were a bunch of booths with organizations from the twin cities that had information about volunteering and internships. I went as an assignment for a different class but I’m really glad I went because I got a chance to talk to someone from Open Arms—it was actually the same guy who came to talk to our class. I told him that I was going to be attending an orientation next week for administrative work and asked if he knew what that might entail. He said I would be doing anything from labeling outgoing meals, to preparing gift-packages, data entry, answering phones, and preparing for special events. I asked him if there were any special events coming up and he told me about something called the “The Moveable Feast? in early May where they send some of the people with HIV/AIDS that they serve out for a night on the town. They are served drinks and deserts and then chauffeured to one of forty-five restaurants downtown where they are treated to a main course. It sounded like a really cool event that maybe I could get involved in.
This Friday I also went to the service learning workshop at the YMCA building. Some of the activities kind of made me feel like I was back in middle school but I guess there were some that were helpful to do before going out and volunteering. It was really interesting to hear some of the statistics about poverty and about the racial makeup of Minnesota.

February 5, 2007

Smiley's Orientation

This week on Thursday I had an orientation type thing for Smiley's clinc where I will be volunteering at. The supervisor went over what we will be doing and it actually sounds pretty cool. What happens is that the center for disease control and the clinic team up to fight asthma (a major problem in urban communities because of all the pollution). To see how effective they are, they analyze their patients records when they come in and see if their asthma is improving and if they are taking the right medicines and stuff. This is where we come in. We are going to be trained to look at charts and other medical information to see if the clinic and the patient are doing a good job to treat the asthma. At the orientation, the leader asked us to breath through slightly bent straws to show us how poeple with asthma have to breath all the time. We also watched a short movie that explains that showed what was physically happening in the body when someone has an asthma attack. Since we wont start training until the end of February (therefore I won't be able to actually volunteer until March), I'm going to have to volunteer somewhere else as well. I contacted Open-Arms and got a list of orienation days from them so I will be volunteering there as well. I'm not really looking forward to volunteering at both places because i already feel like i have so much to do already but I guess I'm going to have to do my best.