Lauren Adelman: Internship Reflection

My name is Lauren and I am a senior Health Behavior Science Major at the University of Delaware. Over the last semester, I have had the opportunity to complete an internship with Lori’s Hands. This experience has been so impactful for me both professionally and personally. I am so thankful for the amazing people I have met and the wonderful experiences I have been able to have thanks to Lori’s Hands.

I got involved with Lori’s Hands while looking for a Spring semester internship. I had heard other students talk about it in the past, and thought it sounded like a great way to combine what I have learned as an undergraduate student in Health Behavior Science and what I hope to continue to learn as I pursue a career in nursing. I did not realize at the time what a large impact interning for Lori’s Hands would have on me.

At the beginning of the semester, I was assigned 13 clients. I nervously began going to client’s homes, unsure of what they would ask me to do, what we would talk about, etc. However, within just a few visits, I truly felt like I had built a special relationship with each of my clients and looked forward to visiting every week. I found myself wondering in between visits if a client was able to resolve a certain issue, how an appointment went, etc. I learned about their families , their professions, and how chronic illness has impacted the way they function in everyday life.

As a future medical provider, I learned a lot that I plan to take with me as I pursue my career goals. Through talking with clients, I learned about specific chronic illnesses and how they affect the body. But I also learned that there is so much more to a patient than just what their diagnosis is. I learned that to truly understand a patient’s diagnosis and to come up with the best treatment plan possible for them, you must understand the patient as a person. You must understand what their home life is like, what type of support system they have in place, the access they have to medication, healthy foods, and community resources. This is something that I feel is sometimes neglected in healthcare, and something that this experience has made me more attuned to.  I plan to carry this knowledge with me as I continue my career in healthcare.

Although what I learned about healthcare is significant, what I learned personally is what has been the most impactful. I built confidence in being able to talk with people and being able to create meaningful, positive relationships with individuals who were previously complete strangers. I learned that although there was a big age difference between my clients and I, we had a lot more in common than I had originally anticipated. But most importantly, I learned just how big an impact small favors can have on someone’s life. That doing basic tasks such as running to the grocery store or folding laundry can be such a big help to someone who may not have the physical ability to do so. I am so thankful for all of the wisdom and life experiences that my clients have shared with me over this semester, and for the great experience that interning with Lori’s Hands has been. I can’t wait to see the great things that this organization is able to accomplish in the future!