Health Coach Reflection

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I was selected to participate in a new service-learning program called Health Coaches, at the University of Arkansas, at the beginning of my sophomore year. This program has been pivotal during my undergraduate career. The Health Coach program comes from a partnership between Washington Regional Medical Center and the University. The program’s purpose is for undergraduate pre-health professions students to gain practical and clinical knowledge through hands-on learning while helping the surrounding community. As a health coach, our task is to be a bridge between high-risk patients and the healthcare system. We are assigned a patient that we follow as long as the patient needs our help. We visit the patient in their own home and encourage them…show more content…
This program offers me the ability to be responsible for a patient on a week-to-week basis. I have had three patients during my two years as a health coach. One patient unfortunately discontinued because of health concerns, but the first patient I was responsible for graduated from the program because he regained his health and did not return to the ER during my time with him. My current patient is on hospice and was told he had two months to live about two years ago. I serve as an extra support system for my patient and his wife. One of my favorite aspects of being their health coach is just simply talking with them. Learning about their lives fascinates me and helps me with learning to converse with patients while extracting information. I’ve learned that having a simple conversation, and being interested in learning about the patient is an important tool in building a good rapport. My patient loves to talk about his time in the Army, and all the places he was able to visit while in the service. It is important to gain their trust so that they are more likely to adhere to their medical plan. Health coaches has exposed me to the clinical side of treating chronically ill patients and the importance of working with an interdisciplinary healthcare team. This team allows us to give the best care for patients through multiple aspects of healthcare. This program has shown me that I belong in this career
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