August 2020 … Healthy NewsWorks was fortunate to work with three university healthcare students this summer in partnership with the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program.
Bridging the Gaps is a nonprofit program that links students in the health and social service professions to organizations that serve economically insecure communities. Students implement projects during a seven-week internship.
The three students, who are pursuing medical, dental, and nursing studies in Philadephia, met with students and Healthy NewsWorks staffers to help develop curriculum, generate website content, and implement a social media plan, among other activities—all via video feeds to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Especially now, with the challenges everyone is facing, it was a real gift to have the three Bridging the Gaps students with us this summer,” said Marian Uhlman, Healthy NewsWorks executive director. “They not only advanced some of our ongoing projects, but also provided valuable input for our 2020-21 program for our Healthy NewsWorks students.”
The students said the internship helped them gain insights about healthcare beyond the classroom.
“In medical school, we learn about how as future doctors we need to meet our patients where they are and be able to break verbal and written communication down for patients’ understanding,” said Rashiqah Syed, a second-year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
“By talking to children, I practiced simplifying medical content, and learned how to manage the real frustrations that come with working towards clear understanding,” she said.
Tiffanie Chiu, a second-year University of Pennsylvania dental student, said her summer experience inspired her to create more health resources for children and youth to raise awareness about healthy habits. “This summer, I have learned how important it is to start teaching and promoting positive health behaviors at a young age,” she said.
Jamie Chung, a nursing student at the University of Pennsylvania, said she “learned once again that health is multidimensional,” and that is particularly relevant now when kids are at home. “Educators participating in distance learning should not only think about whether students have access to technology,” she said, “but also consider if students have the space to learn from home or have a regular sleep schedule to be fully engaged during class sessions.”