In 2017, I went to my first AMEN clinic. I was a new nursing grad who was still studying for the NCLEX. That year I worked as a traffic controller/interpreter. I loved every moment of it. I was just a little bit curious what it would be like to serve in an AMEN clinic as a medical professional. A close friend of mind spent his time intently working on people’s mouths. He told me that it was a different feeling to participate as a medical professional.
When I saw an ad for another AMEN clinic near me, I eagerly signed up. This time as an RN. It wasn’t completely a new experience. I have participated as student nurse in plenty of clinics. Yet, it was just a little different being there as a medical professional. Here are a few of my reflections on the experience.
A little child shall lead them
I am a baby nurse, yet it was very amusing to reteach my colleagues how to use the glucometers. You can’t put the blood on the stick first before you insert it into the machine. No, no don’t insert the bloody stick inside the machine. That doesn’t work either. It humbled me to realize that some day I could forget how to use a glucometer. I hope I am just as eager to learn and as good a sport about it as they were.
It was a blessing to be able and expected to pray with my patients. I work at a secular hospital therefore I have to be more discreet about reach out to my patients spiritual needs. It was a relief to listen to the people coming to the clinic voice their concerns and they offer them to God in prayer.
Speaking in tongues
As I spoke more or less effortlessly to my Spanish speaking clients, I was grateful for the all the pain and suffering that I endured when my parents insisted that I study nursing in Spanish. There’s something special about being able to speak to someone in their own language.
Privileged with knowledge
I always take for granted the things that I know. I have a wealth of information from growing up in a family that valued living a healthy lifestyle. Then there is everything I learned about the human body and keeping it running from studying nursing. No everyone is that informed. It was a blessing to share some of that. Even though it was a bit scary that my title added so much weight to my words.
Yes, most people in the States have healthcare, but it isn’t free. Often there’s a co-pay tacked on somewhere. It was amazing to offer them something that was truly without cost. They could come in without a second thought. They didn’t have to worry about where the co-pay would come from or if it was really “worth” the trip in to receive care. And when they got in they would be met with professional who were invested in making sure that they could get top quality care.