Making a Difference
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It was Thanksgiving Day when my six-year-old son began running a high fever. Panicked, I called Dr. Spino, and without hesitation he told me meet him at his office. He had been on the way to the grocery store to pickup a few Thanksgiving essentials when I called, but he immediately dropped his own errands to be there for my son. When Dr. Spino smiled at me and my son before hurrying off to the store with his half-destroyed shopping list. Just as some people feel drawn to working with humans as they enter the world, others feel a calling toward those who are in the final chapters of their story.
Those who want to work with elderly populations can choose from many rewarding positions that allow them to support and care for patients handling common geriatric ailments. Some may want to work in a long-term care facility as geriatric care managers or rehabilitation counselors, while others may decide to provide care to those still managing on their own as a home health aide. Other positions to consider include geriatric nurse, geriatric physician assistant, geriatric nutritionist, geriatric dental hygienist, or a medical researcher focused on diseases and illnesses common to this population.
The house I grew up next to was always vacant, but one day an elderly couple moved in.
I learned that the husband, an year-old man, had just been discharged from a skilled nursing facility less than a month prior and was working to get back on his feet. Only two weeks after moving into the house, the wife passed away very unexpectedly. For the first time in 56 years, our year-old neighbor found himself living alone without his wife and primary caregiver.
As a compromise, his family bought him an emergency alert necklace so he could call for help if needed. One night, as he attempted to get out of his bed, he fell and became trapped between his mattress and the bedrail.
2. The micro dictates the macro
Luckily, he was able to use his emergency alert necklace to call for help. Within minutes, an emergency response team arrived at his home. The elderly man was embarrassed, distraught, and adamant he did not want to be taken to the hospital. The paramedics helped him get up and assessed his condition before determining he did not need further medical attention. Though the paramedics had done their job and were set to leave, one paramedic whose shift was over chose to hang back. Veterans often face specific medical challenges, with between of these brave heroes completing suicide each day.
Mental health stands as a huge area of necessary care for this population, with many also facing issues of anxiety, major depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Many positions exist for people who want to support and make a difference in the lives of this community.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest employer, but medical and medical support roles can also be found in areas of mental health, rehabilitation, substance abuse, physical therapy, psychology and psychiatry, and healthcare administration. According to a report by the Health Affairs Journal , minority populations in America are more at risk for receiving low-value health services than their white counterparts, particularly when it comes to preventative care such as cancer screenings or diabetes detection.
Many medical and medical support staff want to see a reduction in these trends — particularly those who have experienced first-hand the discrepancies in care. Some professionals who identify as minorities may decide they want to work with these populations to bring support and treatment to those who are less likely to receive care otherwise.
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Like those who gravitate toward a specific type of patient, some medical professionals choose to focus their work in certain communities. Here are five places where healthcare professionals often focus their careers. According to the Department of Health and Human Services , low-income residents face tough decisions every day about paying for medical care versus other basic needs such as housing, transportation, and food. Even with government programs in place to help ease burdens, the smallest of medical issues can derail their financial stability for long periods of time.
Medical professionals can play vital roles in low-income neighborhoods.
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In addition to screenings, immunizations, and check-ups, they can promote health education. Many low-income individuals have not received training on how to properly care for themselves through nutrition, physical exercise, mental health, and avoiding harmful substances. Health professionals can work to transform health in these communities through simple acts of education and care.
Much like low-income communities, people living in rural towns often lack access to quality healthcare and funding to pay for services. With an average of only 40 doctors per , individuals living in rural America, the need for qualified medical professionals is great for these communities.
Medical professionals can look for jobs in small clinics, mobile care organizations, or as travel care providers. According to the Pew Research Center , more than one million Americans are currently serving time in state prisons — in addition to those living in private facilities.
The answers to these and similar questions are not clear-cut, but value driven, to a large degree, and depend on many personal and social variables and should be examined with the specific child and circumstances in mind. Skip to main navigation Skip to content. Communicating with children. Children and media Positive and negative Making a difference.
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Remember there are three poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. Do not deny their existence but turn them around and you have generosity, compassion, and wisdom.
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Consider the people you see each day. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things I am working on— fundraisers etc. But the coworker, family member, pet right next to you are the people you can truly reach and touch. Be kind to others. In this busy world people become self consumed and forget that kindness goes a long way.
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Acknowledge the light within myself and in others. Not always easy to do but feels so powerful when I am able to do so. Talk to someone that you think might be in distress. You may make the difference of a lifetime. Simply show up. Just put your soul into it. If you show up physically with the soles of your feet, the heart, mind, and soul will have a chance to follow or catch up. You may not want to be there in the beginning, but showing up allows a committed chance at making a difference everyday for the people you love, the people you will meet, and the eventual person you will become.
Show up. Be more involved in the world.
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Be the change you wish to see in the world! Be gentle and practice sympathetic joy. Start really listening to the people around you. Your family for example. People crave for attention. People feel loved when given attention.. Give love. And listening is an act of love. Teach your kids by example ; be caring, open minded, have good manners and remember to smile.