'Tis the season at OC

This holiday season has been the time to give back to the community in OrthoCarolina. OthoCarolina offers to pay for hours employees volunteer during work hours and I took full advantage. The first event I participated in with my OrthoCarolina team was Operation Christmas. A group of 12 went to pack boxes for children all around the world who cannot afford the type of Christmas we get every year. It was hard not to imagine the girl or boy who would be receiving the package you were stuffing with dolls, slippers, toothpaste, rings, balls, notebooks, pencils and crayons.  It was an energetic community service and one I haven’t done before.

'Tis the season at OC

The project I most recently participated in and am really excited to continue here with OrthoCarolina is a partnership with Camino Community. The event I volunteered for was their annual Turkey-giving event. The day started off with a small prayer before serving a meal prepared by the local staff and volunteers. Everyone was welcome to join. As people arrived they were given numbers to participate in the pantry “pan de vida”. We took individuals through the shelves and placed veggies, rice, beans, fruits, yogurt, eggs in their carts. The amount corresponded to the size of their family, which ranged from an individual to nine and at one point even 17 people. In the end, every family received a turkey, chicken or ham. I enjoyed being able to take the individual’s through the pantry and hear all about their families and stories. Midway through we started to run out of supplies in the pantry and OrthoCarolina team members ran quickly out to the store to replenish the stalks.  It was awesome to see so many people committed to a cause and have the OC team energized and ready to fill in any gaps. Although not everyone understand spanish (and trust me they heard a lot of it) you could tell that they were enjoying spending time with the community and helping out. I could see how much this experience created an impact on them.

At the end of the event, I got exciting news: from this volunteer opportunity emerged another. Dr. Murrey and Brent Shear talked to the directors of the center in an attempt to help set up a small clinic for orthopedic consults and physical therapy at free/small cost. They asked me to help as the mediator for this process. This New Year will be an exciting one! I am happy that OrthoCarolina found another way to give back to their community and I get to be actively involved. I appreciate how my role here in OrthoCarolina is slowly evolving!

 'Tis the season at OC

Part of OC

Let me tell you the first few months at OrthoCarolina passed by in a blur. On one hand I was focused on adapting to the lifestyle of working from 8 to 5 and on the other I was trying to keep up with my med-school goals. It was harder than I expected to graduate from college and enter the real world even though I was lucky that Charlotte was partly familiar to me and I was living with a friend.  The first few days on the job consisted of learning and remembering different passwords, protocols, benefits and a lot of terms I was unfamiliar with: Vanguard? What’s that? At home, I would research anything I didn’t know or, you know, asked my mother what they were talking about.  Every opportunity is a learning opportunity!

Part of OC

The first few weeks, I was sharing the office with my supervisor Carole, the VP of Clinical Operations.  Carole was amazing and would answer any questions I had and directed me to the people I needed to talk to in order to further along my project. She also took her time to get to know me and told me jaw-dropping stories of when she was training to be a nurse.  I have a feeling I will be looking back to her anecdotal stories when I am a medical student. Throughout the week, Carole kept sending emails left and right “introducing” me to people, which was a strange concept to me at first since I never actually met them until later. Finally, I got to meet someone new face-to-face: Susan from the OrthoCarolina Research Institute came to talk about helping me with the research component of my project. That same day, we all met with Dr. Murrey to talk about my purpose at OrthoCarolina.  I was a little nervous at first, but once the discussion started flowing I forgot all about it. I left Dr. Murrey’s office energized and ready to jump into developing this tool, but had to stop myself because that first required a lot of reading to get comfortable with the topic.

Part of OC

OrthoCarolina is committed to providing excellent care and service. They are constantly working on ways to make healthcare more affordable, understandable and tailored around the patient needs.  My project has to do with the latter. When a patient walks through the doors, they carry a certain set of expectations and needs. Satisfaction surveys give us more information on the service provided, but sometimes does not reflect the subjective needs of the patients that were not met. For example, a patient is glad the wait long to see the doctor was short, but felt they did not get enough information on how to minimize pain. When a patient is dissatisfied they might not comply with treatment or turn to alternative medicine and other providers to try and satisfy their unmet needs. Either way, a patients’ health could be compromised and lead to increased costs of care for patients. The purpose of my project is to develop a tool that will help identify the needs of patients and what they are expecting to receive from an appointment. Using this tool we hope to not only improve the patient experience and tailor the appointment to the individual, but hopefully make an encounter more effective and efficient. In other words, we are tackling that burning question in healthcare, what makes a patient feel healed?

css.php