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Are you from TENessee? Because the 1st KFC is there

Posted by aasalina on March 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Took a trip to Tennessee few weeks ago to volunteer with Remote Area Medical Trip funded by honors college! (Thank you!)

The community  camped out with their families maybe even a day before sleeping on their cars. The weather was I believe 15-20 degrees so it is a true dedication that they wanted to be in that area. A total of more than 1800+ people were served and offered free healthcare this day.

   A medical volunteer  program  through U.S Remote Area Medical Trip (RAM)  at Tennessee with the collaboration of UB School of Dentistry, School of Nursing & University of Tennessee School of  Nursing to flip a whole playground into a remote health care area.  Most of the community members did not have health insurance or dental coverage. I met a patient who had >200 blood pressure (this is alarming) who mentioned that he usually has chest pains (more alarming) but seldmly takes his medications. This man then mentions the last time he was at the doctor was two years ago because he takes his medicinal herbs. My nurse mode acted on it and I semi-freaked out. I had to educate my patient that while his herbs are important to him, it is also just as important to take his medications to prevent further damages to his body. The problem with hypertension (high blood pressure) is that it is a silent killer especially in the United States. People feel fine, walk fine, dance, laugh, sing while physiologically the body is self-damaging.   I ran to a registered nurse and helped the patient right away get to medical consultation.

1st KFC is called SAUNDERS CAFE!

I was also a semi-dental hygienist that day helping UB Dental with some of their first procedures independently. I was so excited for them

Little mini clinics!

One thing that I learned from this experience is truly the importance of understanding where  a person is coming from. I kept telling this patient we need to check your glucose, we need to check your glucose mam before having any dental procedure. Then she finally said “Whats a glucose?”In that moment it hit me, I felt so embarrassed. This patient has been diabetic for years but she knows the terminology of blood sugar instead of the medical term glucose. I apologized to her. These little things do matter. Health literacy is low in the United States and there are cases where patients signed surgeries but they weren’t sure what the procedure was for but too afraid to ask or be thought of  stupid.  What a great learning experience from this trip.

Woke up at 5 AM but everyone else were there 2 days ago camped out in the cold. But this brings up the topic that THERE IS STILL SO MUCH WE NEED TO IMPROVE in the AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Think about how much this volunteer driven based organization has saved? More than $60,000  in the Healthcare system.

Some little updates I will blog about: We placed 2nd for International Fiesta and I received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award last week.


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