I’m a Masters and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidate at Columbia University on the psychiatric nurse practitioner track. I told my program’s director that I wanted to get the landscape of working in a clinic or a day-center because I currently work at a geriatric/psychiatric inpatient unit as an Registered Nurse. She was the one who told me that I would be a great match for The Jewish Board.
The best thing about this internship for me is that I was able to vocalize how open I was to different kinds of experiences, and The Jewish Board was more than happy to give them to me. This has allowed me to see very different kinds of populations. There’s also—and I’m realizing this more and more—not this level of client diversity at other institutions. I’m lucky to be interning here so I could get to see this broad range of clients.
I want to focus on helping underserved communities because I realized, during all my clinical and medical units, many of the patients I saw were experiencing underlying psychiatric issues, especially if there was an issue with noncompliance with their medical prescriptions that would bring them back to the hospital over and over again. Their medical care was affected in this really dramatic way because of anxiety or past traumas that weren’t being acknowledged, discussed or treated in any way. And I felt there was this definite need for people to tie these things together in a way that promotes overall health.
In a lot of underserved populations that level of personal agency and—quite frankly—respect is not doled out the way that it should be. As I talk to patients, I’m finding out more and more that the biggest barrier to compliance with their medication regiment and the biggest hurdle to maintaining stability in their mental health is quality of life. And I’m really glad to intern at a place like The Jewish Board, where I can have those kinds of conversations with patients and help them juggle the demands of their mental health along with the challenges that they face in their day-to-day life.
If you live on the edge of The Bronx and it takes you four bus rides (that you can’t afford) to get to your clinic or pharmacy or place to get your labs done, then that’s going to stop you from being compliant. People want to be compliant, but there are economic and social barriers to that. It is really important that in a very racially, ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse setting like New York that we can address those kinds of barriers as clinicians prescribing medications and helping maintain a certain stability of health.
Along with being an advocate for the patient’s needs, my role is also about creating a safe and open environment so these kinds of things can be said. The Jewish Board helps teach me how to address those issues.
Internships with The Jewish Board
The Jewish Board offers students exciting internship opportunities to help us provide health and human services for all New Yorkers. Visit our internships page to learn more.