UCF medical students team up to provide care at Apopka Farmworker Clinic

Students from various health-related programs team up again to provide health screenings and resources to an underserved agricultural worker population in Apopka. By working together, students learn what it means to put the patient at the center of care and to rely on diverse healthcare professionals to contribute their area of ​​expertise to facilitate a more holistic approach to wellness.

The Apopka Farmworker Clinic had suspended, reduced capacity and transitioned services to virtual care due to concerns about the transmission of COVID-19. The clinic reopened at full capacity on March 31 and will continue to provide quarterly services. The clinic is run by volunteer students and faculty from various health disciplines to improve the health and well-being of this underserved population. Volunteers from UCF’s nursing, physical therapy, medical, and social work programs, as well as students from UF’s pharmacology program, were available to screen patients and offer patient counseling and resources. .

“We have been running the Apopka Clinic steadily since 2016. And although over the past two years we had to change the way we interacted with patients, we were still able to help,” says Body Member Heather Peralta. professor at the UCF College of Nursing. who has spearheaded this volunteer effort since its inception.

Students learn valuable skills in welcoming, triaging and communicating patients. They help patients of all ages with a wide variety of health issues. Most patients seen at the clinic are either uninsured or underinsured, making it cost prohibitive for them to seek mainstream medical care. Whether it’s an unhealed cut or elbow pain, students and faculty work within their respective scopes of practice to better help patients and refer them to additional services.

Sometimes patients need support for the social, financial, or emotional impacts they are experiencing, which is why UCF School of Social Work social workers are present at every event. They help connect patients to programs and services in the community that contribute to their overall well-being.

“What we’ve built in this clinic is a holistic approach to healthcare,” says Peralta. “It’s not only beneficial for our students to learn alongside students from other disciplines, but also for the patients. It is extremely unique to be in one room and have so many different health care providers ready to help you. It’s almost like a bit of magic – the impact of that teamwork. »

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