Interested in knowing what an NHC Florida AmeriCorps member's typical day or week looks like? It is difficult to say because each member position and host site is very unique; some positions are more structured, while others vary from day-to-day. Nevertheless, a member's day very much depends on on 1) the needs of the community and population he/she serves, 2) the needs, expectations, and culture of the host site, and 3) the nature of the programs and services being provided. Below, you will find a few examples from 2013-2014, 2014-2015, & 2015-2016 members who would like to give you a glimpse into a typical day at their host site.
Case Manager at River Region Human Services
At 6am the majority of Jacksonville residents are sound asleep in their beds, but my day is already in full swing. Each day around 400 clients walk through the clinic door at River Region Human Services to receive much needed medical and mental health services.
I and the other NHC member at my site serve clients by assisting them with their medical care, insurance, and social service needs. We usually see a steady stream of clients throughout the morning, but some mornings we may have multiple clients in our office at the same. It is a rare occasion for us to only see one or two individuals. Needless to say, the mornings can be hectic and demanding, but they do fly by quickly.
The afternoons are the complete opposite- you would not even believe it was the same place as earlier in the day. After the clinic closes to clients the place is quiet and nearly empty. I like to use this time for planning. I can create lesson plans for health education and HIV/AIDS classes or coordinate presentations for Building Blocks- the psychoeducational group for pregnant and postpartum women that I assist with. Basically I use this time to do all the things I can’t get down while actively meeting with clients.
No two days are ever the same. No matter what time of day it is there always seems to be some task that needs to get done. Through my service with the National Health Corps I feel I’ve played an active role to further the mission of River Region- to provide integrated health services that change lives, rebuild families, and restore communities
Health Educator at FDOH Clay County- Bear Run Clinic
After the meeting, I review my follow up list, which can range anywhere from 5 to 25 clients.
From here, my day involves a combination of the following activities, in any order, depending on if and what time I have coaching appointments:
If I have appointments, I prepare guiding questions and perform research that will help me throughout my sessions. The Healthiest Weight Program is client-centered – if a client is interested in a particular subject that relates to their healthy living and weight goals, then I will find as much information about it as I can! I research anything from sources of protein and potassium and strategies for portion control, to cognitive reappraisal strategies for emotional eating and overcoming perfectionism.
If I don’t have an appointment, I follow up with clients via phone. Follow ups include calling a client who has previously declined participating in the Healthiest Weight Coaching Program to see if they have changed their mind, scheduling an appointment with a client, confirming coaching appointments that are scheduled for the next day, or conducting coaching sessions over the phone with clients who cannot make it to the clinic due to transportation limitations.
Throughout the day, I meet clients who are good candidates for the Healthiest Weight Coaching Program. I meet these clients before or after their appointment with the doctor, introduce them to myself and the program, and schedule them for a coaching session if they are interested.
Though most of my coaching appointments take place in the clinic, some of my clients prefer walking appointments. On average, I conduct 3-4 walking appointments per week. These are personally my favorite because they are essentially an active and informal outdoor coaching session!
If I have time toward the end of the day, I tend to the clinic’s outdoor garden. Additionally, I consult with doctors at the clinic regarding their patients’ progress in the Healthiest Weight Coaching Program. Specifically, we address dietary restrictions and nutrition questions that clients raise during coaching sessions.
I end my day by reviewing medical histories of patients who are scheduled to come in the next day. This helps me identify candidates for the Healthiest Weight Program, and expand the program as a whole!
Health Educator at FDOH Baker County
Monday: I teach a decision making, substance, and tobacco prevention class called “Too Good for Drugs” class in the 6th grade at Baker County Middle School (BCMS) in both the morning and afternoon. The rest of the day, I lesson plan for the upcoming week.
Tuesday: I facilitate a women’s support group class called “New Heights” at the Baker County Jail or give a presentation in the community (such as the KADET tobacco prevention program) in the morning. In the afternoon, I again teach “Too Good for Drugs” in the 6th grade at BCMS. I spend the rest of my afternoon preparing for the youth Tobacco Education Group or lesson planning.
Wednesday: I spend all morning lesson planning or scheduling youth Tobacco Education Group participants for community service hours. In the afternoon, I facilitate the youth Tobacco Education Group at the Baker County Health Department.
Thursday: In the morning and afternoon, I am back at BCMS teaching “Too Good for Drugs” in the 8th grade. I spend my last few hours supervising youth Tobacco Education Group participants’ community service hours or lesson planning.
Friday: I do not have any classes scheduled on Friday, so I usually use my time to meet with the Prevention Coordinator at BCMS to go over activities and lessons for our “Too Good for Drugs” classes. I spend the rest of my day preparing for other projects such as Point of Sale Tobacco Audits in Baker County.
Saturday: In the morning and early afternoon, I usually participate in a group service project, attend an outside training with other National Health Corps of Florida members, or help with a community health fair in Baker County with my host site.
My biggest piece of advice: Seek new volunteer opportunities in the community of your host site. I recently served at a health fair in Baker County, and found a volunteer coaching opportunity with Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida. I can’t wait to start coaching the 3rd grade girls at Macclenny Elementary School!
Healthy Start Care Coordinator at FDOH Nassau County
Every morning I come in to the Healthy Start office at the Department of Health in Nassau County – usually by bike, which is fun! When I get here I take a look at my tasks for the day – usually I have clients to call and follow up with, women to meet with for smoking cessation or parenting education, or an appointment at a local obstetrician’s office to meet a new client and go over important prevention and education points at the start of her pregnancy. Next, I check my email to catch up on correspondence with community partners like school principals, soccer coaches, or daycare staff – each month I collaborate with people like these to provide injury prevention education to the community, ranging from poison safety to positive parenting to distracted driving awareness. I also teach a parenting class for parents of teenagers, so if there’s a session coming up soon, I spend some time going over the material and presentation, preparing handouts, or recruiting participants. Whenever I’m in the middle of one thing, another is likely to come up, so I stay busy all day going from one task to the next, and back again. In between all this I also spend time editing the NHC Florida blog, making sure that members’ posts are top notch for publication. At the end of the day I’m always amazed – how did those 8 hours go by so fast? Time flies when you’re Getting Things Done!
Case Manager at River Region Human Services
If you’re reading this now, I'm sure you’ve poked around the NHC Florida website a bit already. You've probably read that there is no “typical day” for many of the members. On behalf of the case management position at River Region Human Services (RRHS), I am here to confirm that notion.
From when the doors open at 6am until about noon, clients are encouraged by counselors and nurses to visit the AmeriCorps office. Conveniently located together in one spot, the NHC Florida Patient Navigator, Ajan, and I operate on an open-door policy, inviting clients in to chat. We assess the client’s needs; Ajan handles the medical and insurance issues and I assist with social service matters. There are days of back to back to back clients seeking assistance, and there are days when only a single client may request anything at all (these are fairly uncommon). While the specific inquiries vary, the bulk of my interactions involve navigating issues with food stamps and transportation, linking clients to viable housing options and financial assistance programs, and advising clients on resume formatting and job applications.
The hours after lunch are quiet. I utilize this time to research and gather resources for clients, coordinate facilitators for classes, and plan health education events. If I have phone calls to make, I save them for the second part of my day. It took me only a handful of early morning voicemails to realize that most places aren’t open during the first few hours of my service.
Meetings and groups are the only recurring events on my calendar. Each Wednesday afternoon, the clinic staff convenes for a meeting, and I also attend monthly community meetings that address homelessness and tobacco use. Currently, I am facilitating two HIV classes a month and co-facilitating a weekly wellness group.
I can safely say that on most days, I learn something new, meet someone new, or have a new experience. RRHS clients keep me on my toes and engaged in service. If you’re seeking a fast-paced environment and you’re flexible and patient, I encourage you to consider serving as a case manager at RRHS!
Each day, I usually have interactions with my Healthy Start clients, moms, families and infants, in some form of care coordination. I may be completing initial contacts by phone calls or in-person visits (assessing each risk factor a client may have and determining what level and what type of services they may need), continuing care with a client through mail, phone calls, or in-person visits (using several curricula and developmental screens that I have been trained to use), or providing case management to my clients to connect them with community resources.
Positive Youth Development Program
|(Lesson planning; additional activities)||Dental Program (Host Site)||
Positive Youth Development Program
|High School Health Program (Off-Site)||
Health Screening/ Community Event
|Afternoon||(Lesson planning; additional activities)||Positive Youth Development Program (Off-Site)||Tobacco Education Group (Host-Site)||(Lesson planning; additional activities)||(Lesson planning; additional activities)||(Lesson planning; additional activities)|
|Evening||Diabetes Self-Management Class (Host-Site)|