Earlier this month, members of the first and second year UF PA classes volunteered alongside UF medical and pharmacy students, the Multi-County Migrant Education Program, the Rural Women’s Health Project, and the UF Mobile Outreach Clinic at the Alachua County Blueberry Migrant Health Fairs. This multi-day, multi-location, health fair promotes overall wellness and provides screenings for hypertension and diabetes to hundreds of migrant farm workers annually who arrive in Alachua County for the blueberry harvest.
This year, stations of hot food were available to patients waiting to be screened. There was also a table full of clothing and shoes for those in need.
Along with Associate Dean Rice, PA-C, several students from both the first and second year class interpreted for providers, gathered histories, checked vitals, and performed physical exams. Although many of the volunteers met one another just prior to the fair’s beginning, the group exhibited high levels of teamwork. They taught each other helpful Spanish phrases and how to perform accurate blood glucose checks. As the line to see providers backed up further and further, PA students stepped up and assisted with patient consultations. The health fair continued until all of the patients present were seen, and the evening was a success in the eyes of both the volunteers and the workers.
The PA students gained experience providing health care with the obstacle of a language barrier and showed that they were up for the challenge. In keeping with the program’s mission to serve our community, as well as to gain added experience in providing care to a diverse population, the UF Physician Assistant program will continue to participate in the Blueberry Migrant Health Fair in the years to come.
For more information:
Multicounty Migrant Education Program –
Rural Women’s Health Project – http://www.rwhp.org/
UF Mobile Outreach Clinic – http://outreach.med.ufl.edu/