Lancaster medical program students practice skills at community health screening event
16 Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration students, and Medical Assisting instructor Jamila Clark, got back as much as they gave when this Lancaster campus team spent a Saturday in July helping hundreds of people get free health services at St. Martha Catholic Church in Huntington Park.
Sponsored by Sathya Sai International Organization, a world-wide group of medical professionals and volunteers, these events offer Vision, Primary Care, Dental and Women’s Health services to many who cannot afford medical visits for health issues and treatments. Attendees received eye exams (and refurbished glasses), blood labs, glucose and cholesterol screenings, dental exams, fluoride treatments, and, for women, pap smears and mammograms.
“This organization does not promote any religion; they only care about showing others love and providing these necessary services,” says Jamila Clark, who organized and supervised SJVC’s student volunteers at the event.
SJVC’s student volunteers helped register participants, took vital signs, assisted in the Vision section and, those who are bilingual, aided in translating for the many Spanish-speaking participants. “Some of our students were able to practice these skills, as translating medical terminology can be a challenge,” says Jamila. “Our students were extremely professional and the most impressive volunteer group there! I was not the only one to notice our students’ awesomeness.”
Organizers and other volunteers felt that SJVC’s medical program students stood out among other student volunteers. “I can’t even begin to describe how much your students’ presence means to us,” says Anshul Singh, part of the organizing team. “Your (SJVC) volunteers had a passion to serve…I can make that out from the body language and expression. I felt a lot of good energy and love around them.”
SJVC students not only provided valuable medical assisting services to a multitude of those in need, they were able to exercise many of the skills they will need in their future careers. “Every event I volunteer at gives me a greater knowledge about what I am doing,” says Jackie Navarro, Medical Assisting student.
Health care events like these also teach students how important it is to interact with the communities they will one day serve. “Being able to help provide much-needed health care for so many people is not only a privilege but an honor, as well,” says Medical Assisting student Marlina Adamson. “I am so glad I was able to participate in this event.”
The Vision section of the health services provided that day benefitted many volunteers, as well as those community participants who were so happy to leave with a pair of corrective lenses. “How awesome is it to come to the event with vision problems and leave with actual glasses, on the spot?” asks Jamila. “In fact, many of our volunteers were able to go to Vision to get a pair and can now see the board in class!”
The Lancaster Medical Assisting students and Medical Office Administration student who volunteered include:
Medical Assisting Program: Nayely Joaquin, Jocelyn Lopez, Katherine Aguilar, Jackie Navarro, Nayelly Gaona, Michelle Gonzalez, Marissa Venegas, Marlina Adamson, Cognac Walters, Bryshae Stewart, Breanna Brit, Cristina Corona, Sarah Roberts, Destiny Schwartz, Sasha Cavins
Medical Office Administration Program: Danyiel McComb
This is the second time in the last few weeks that the Lancaster campus has participated in an SSIO-sponsored Free Health Screening. “This is my second time doing an event like this, and I absolutely loved it,” says Nayelly Gaona, Medical Assisting student. “It was great getting experience with patients and meeting great people.”
Student volunteerism is strongly supported by San Joaquin Valley College on all campuses.