Sunday, January 8, 2012

Learning Something New

After I took my DTR exam, I was off to work at another internship site.  I was not very happy about having to work on Friday, and was nervous about getting home time for Shabbat candle lighting.

Usually the first day of the internship is orientation - you get to learn about what you'll be doing, what they expect from you, and you can begin to settle in.  My first day actually was Aseres B'Teves, or last Thursday at another site, so I was completely confused and exhausted.

So I listened with half an ear and tried to breathe, when I began the tour of the facilities.  APLA, or AIDS Project Los Angeles, serves an HIV clientele for nutrition, medical and psychological needs.  One thing I will be doing is nutritional screening of patients, so it was important that I see it done.

The volunteer I was supposed to watch was late, so my preceptor went looking for her appointment sitting in the waiting room.  He was there, but so was another man.  He stopped my preceptor and complained that his email wasn't being accepted, and he felt the email system had been hacked.  He than listed out everyone he had spoken to about the matter and felt that his issues had not been addressed.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who would have blown this guy off, but my preceptor was not.  She listened to him, even thought this wasn't her area of expertise nor her problem.  She then asked him to write down on a piece of paper how he would like this issue resolved.  What resolution was he looking for?  My preceptor would then take the paper, make copies and send it to the appropriate people.

The change that came over this client was amazing.  He felt so empowered, and so respected.  And me, well, I learned a lot in those 10 minutes.  Respect goes a long way, and everyone needs that.

Even though I didn't want to be there, I was in exactly the right place and where I needed to be Friday afternoon.  Humbling, indeed.

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