Destin: Giving Hope
4.29.2014 | by Meleia Fisher, Junior
A small group of nursing students along with a few professors were able to go to Destin, Florida to work with the Hope Medical Clinic over spring break. I was not expecting quite as much as I saw when we arrived, and was blown away with the amount of dedication and love that filled the clinic.
The Hope Clinic serves as a free primary care provider for those who do not receive health care and are uninsured. Although Destin is a destination spot, it is between two counties that are in need of help. We were able to experience what patient care was like first-hand by screening new patients and doing nursing tasks in the actual clinic. The staff of the Hope Clinic consists of volunteer doctors and nurses from many backgrounds and specialties, with only three paid workers.
It was evident how much the staff at the clinic wanted to love and care for each individual person that came in. The staff recognize that each person has his or her own story and background, and that everyone who walks through the doors needs help. This is one reason it was so cool for us to be able to go help them screen new patients.
Because the clinic is on a tight schedule with a lot of patients and doctors to coordinate, it is not always possible to spend a significant amount of time screening each new patient and getting to know them. We were able to perform screenings on about 60 new patients (getting full health assessments and backgrounds), and spend time getting to know each patient and listening to their stories. We took that information and what we learned from being around the person to discuss and create an appointment list in order of priority. This really was a great way to bless the ministry, and to see the ins and outs of initial patient care.
The clinic director, Tim Roberts, was so thrilled to be able to help one patient the day she came in to be screened, because she had a painful problem that would need treated before she could get in for an appointment. Tim has been working at the clinic for six years and being able to help each new person is still exciting for him. This really spoke to the heart behind the clinic and the dedication that is put into it every single day.The Hope Clinic is holistic and provides primary care, prevention care, and counseling to the people that come in the doors. In its mission, it is stated that they believe in the worth of people because they are created by God, and that is the truth. The love that fills the clinic is so apparent, and it really is a hopeful place. Although every problem of each patient cannot be helped, there is a hospital that they work with for further care, and the staff really strives to help people in whatever way possible.
Love is the most important thing, and I see nursing as a tangible way we can be used to love people and meet them where they are because it is often a vulnerable state. I pray that God will use us to continue to help the Hope Clinic in some way, and bless them as they blessed us the week we were there.