In Class

July 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

Wealth & Poverty | Intern Helps Find Services for Patients at Risk

By Chloe Wooster ’19
Junior in Social Work and Wealth and Poverty Certificate
Intern with Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

My internship experience at Charleston Area Medical Center has developed my perception of the role of social services in a health-care setting and has solidified my passion for the social work profession.

My main responsibility as a social services intern at CAMC is to conduct psychosocials and risk assessments. These psychosocials and assessments are a crucial step in a patient’s recovery process since they identify what threatens a person’s health outside the hospital. Common problems people face at home are unaffordable co-pay prices for medication, not having transportation to doctor’s appointments or the pharmacy, and addiction to drugs or alcohol that is the underlying cause for the health condition that placed them in the hospital in the first place.

Once identifying what challenges a person’s health, it is my role to provide them with services or agencies that can alleviate or solve the problem. For example, if I discover that a patient struggles to afford the cost of a co-pay for a medication, it is my role to provide them with information on payment assistance programs or a co-pay card to help them afford the medication. This is a vital step in a person’s health-care plan because I’ve learned that, oftentimes, people stop taking their medication when they can no longer afford it. This taught me that economic status can truly impact a person’s health directly.

This internship through SHECP has had a profound impact on my undergrad education as a social work student. I’ve learned at CAMC that social workers play a critical role in a person’s health-care plan and that social workers have the ability to make an immediate and positive impact on a patient’s life. Because of this experience, I am interested in continuing my education on social work in a health-care setting.

About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty Internships

Welath and Poverty theme logoOhio University, the newest member of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, awarded three consortium summer internships to OHIO students. Shepherd internships take place across the country and in a variety of settings and fields of service that capture the interdisciplinary nature of the program including business and economic development; child services and education; community action; environmental issues; healthcare; homelessness and social services; hunger; and legal aid for both civil and criminal matters. Interns are paid a subsistence wage, living with other interns to make for a collaborative learning experience in which students engage each other in the issue of poverty, reflecting on the work at their respective agencies and organizations. Students do internships in communities away from their home institutions.

The SHECP membership and internships were made possible through an 1804 grant obtained by Dr. Stephen J. Scanlan (Sociology and Anthropology), Dr. Matthew Layton (Political Science), and Dr. Rachel Terman (Sociology and Anthropology) as well as initial support from the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Health Sciences and Professions.

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