Experiencing Health in Social Work

As I continue in my second semester of my 2nd year as a distance education student (meaning I’m in year 2 of 3 years in my program), I am continuing to enjoy all of the additional professional development opportunities that the UNC-CH School of Social Work offers. An opportunity that as been a consistently rewarding one has been working with the student led health clinic, the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC).

The clinic runs every Wednesday from 6:00pm until the last client is seen (usually around 10-10:30). As social work student volunteers, we work on a team of 3-4 and break into different medical teams. In a typical evening, a volunteer can expect to see as few as 2 and as many as 5 clients, potentially even more! There is a brief training provided to model the assessment process and questions and a lesson in how to enter notes into a case management system called Practice Fusion. The evening flies by quickly and once you get started, you’re pretty much running from one clinic room to another practicing active listening, motivational interviewing skills, and quickly assessing to provide the optimal resources essential for that particular client.

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Volunteering with the clinic has been an eye-opening experience for me and has helped me ignite my passion for integrated health care in social work. Since I started the program, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in either education or health background and since I have a good deal of previous education centered experience, I was fortunate for the opportunity to test out my interest in the health field. In fact, volunteering with SHAC helped me decide to pursue the PrimeCare grant program. I just found out last Friday that I was accepted into the program and am elated to continue learning more about the field of integrated health through my upcoming concentration placement and the integrated health coursework and workshops.

I believe that this experience is a unique opportunity specifically for UNC-CH Social Work students. After reading that SHAC is the oldest student run health clinic in the country, I knew that UNC’s program had rewarding opportunities that other schools I was researching just didn’t offer. I am so grateful for making the choice to attend UNC!

To see more about SHAC- Visit their website: https://www.med.unc.edu/shac

…and their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/UNCshac/?fref=nf



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