Meet AZAdvances Intern Catherine Mendez

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When I started my internship with HUG Clinic and AZAdvances, I was very nervous but excited. During my interview I had the idea that I was going to work at my college’s clinic, so I had some expectations of my job. I expected to help patients with their appointments and keep the clinic in order. But there was also another detail I was not too sure about, which was the SaPHE Lab. I did not know what kind of lab it was or what work to expect from the lab. Although I did not know what to expect it sounded interesting to me, and I wanted to learn what the lab was about. I expected to learn about what it would be like working in the medical field since I am pursuing a career in that area. Overall, I had high expectations to learn many new things in this internship that would help me with my professional growth. Now that my internship has ended, I would say my expectations of the internship were similar to what I imagined but there were also other expectations that I had not thought about. My expectations about working in the clinic were correct and for the SaPHE Lab I came in with an open mind.

While working at HUG Clinic I gradually learned new things about the clinic and what was expected by me. I remember first learning the basics such as preparing new patient folders, learning the gym machines and how to clean them, filing away folders, and building a schedule for the appointments. Then I got to learn more exciting tasks such as maintaining the ultrasound rooms, the SaPHE Lab, special projects, and working at the front desk of the clinic. After learning all the tasks I was expected to do it helped me have a daily routine. Mondays I am down in the SaPHE Lab moving the ceiling lifts and changing the batteries out of the floor lifts. I clean the gym and clinic floor and make sure everything is stocked for services. I will also make confirmation calls to confirm with patients that they are coming to their appointment for the next day. Then I clean and stock the ultrasound rooms. For Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I will work at the front desk when there are services or when Tiffany is not here. Depending on the patients’ needs I will gladly translate for them. Once again, I make confirmation calls for the next day’s appointments, set up the schedule, and pull the patients charts. When services are done, I go around the clinic’s floor to clean and restock equipment. On Thursdays I am at the front desk again checking in ultrasound patients and helping them out based on what they need. If I get the chance I will clean and stock the ultrasound rooms and clinic but usually I, do it on Mondays. Every day of the week I book patients for their appointments, clean and stock the clinic, and answer the phone. I also do special projects when needed for the clinic and SaPHE Lab such as reorganizing and keeping track of equipment. I also get to participate in safe patient handling classes that happen in the SaPHE Lab.

It has been easy creating a daily routine and doing my job because of the help from Tiffany, Heather, and Rosie. They all have made it easy to learn skills I would need at my internship as well as for the future. Most of the teaching was hands on and verbal, which made learning easy. But each person has taught me in their own unique way. I appreciate the time and effort everyone at the clinic has dedicated to preparing me for a future career in the healthcare field. The clinic and staff have shown me what should be expected of a clinic and of myself anywhere I go.

I believe that AZAdvances is doing a wonderful job providing internship opportunities for students in the career that they are studying for. With this internship I feel better prepared for my future career. If there are future opportunities like this through AZAdvances or AZBio, I would gladly take it. I want to thank HUG Clinic and AZAdvances for welcoming me and teaching me all these wonderful skills and giving me a wonderful experience throughout this internship.

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Phoenix, Arizona