Yesterday, I started my project. I took a 7:17 train from Elwyn to University City and then made the two block walk to HUP. Then I met up with Trish. She was happy to see me after my 6 month hiatus from work. I learned that many things had changed during this time. She was no longer a patient support specialist, she was now a manager and nurse navigator. This gave her more responsibilities but gave her less time to work on each of the many different facets of her job. I also learned that of the patients that I saw during the summer, only a few were still around. I had expected this answer before I asked the question. It is important to remember that the people that I work with are extremely ill. The survival rate is low even with the advanced medicine that Penn has to offer.
We then began to discuss what my job would entail during these four weeks. She said that she wants me to become as knowledgable as possible about this oncological branch of medicine. There are multiple different conferences and educational classes that will be happening during my time working here that Trish and I will be attending. They are all in Philadelphia so it should be no problem attending them. Trish told me that my main job would be to raise as much money as possible for the patients in need. I will also be working on a system that helps the patients continue to get money from foundations after I am gone. This is especially important with Trish’s new more executive job. She will have more responsibilities and will have less time to write grants. There will be other volunteers coming once a week certain days of the weeks and Trish told me that I will taking a leadership role and will be in charge of them.
After we finished our talk, I spent a majority of the day researching the organizations that I will be in contact with. I read through all of the applications and went on the websites to see what patients are eligible for which grants. I did see one patient and presented her with a $50 Wells Fargo Visa Gift Card. I am excited for what is yet to come and the surprises that I will face during this month.