Monday, December 3, 2012

My experience in a Title X Family Planning Clinic

This Capstone has been an excellent learning experience. I was stationed at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH). Specifically, my partners and I were mainly focused on the Title X family planning clinic at CCBH. Over the course of the semester, I learned so much about various health topics including Medicaid, family planning, the Title X program, and other health and socioeconomic issues relating to reproductive health and wellness. I learned about my targeted community and how to implement an actual problem solving for better health project. Before my first day at CCBH, I knew that I would be working primarily in a STD testing clinic. However, I was not expecting this experience and was not expecting to have the opportunity to work in one of the Ohio family planning clinic with Title X funding.
            Title X clinics, such as the one at CCBH, play a significant role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventative health services for millions of low-income and uninsured individuals as well as others. These clinics have a different set of guidelines, protocols, and initiatives. For example, during the patient interviewing process CCBH staff are required to ask questions about general health topics in addition to sexual health ones. I did not expect this initially but it was not uncommon to find staff providing education on smoking cessation for a patient visiting the clinic to for a routine HIV screening. It was interesting becoming familiar with the various functions and responsibilities at a Title X clinic.
            Furthermore, the clinic serves a wide variety of patients. The patient population at the clinic was very interesting. According to the clinic’s priorities, I saw many low-income and uninsured individuals as well as those able to afford family planning services. I learned about the health care delivery system in terms of family planning services and how health disparities such as lack of insurance coverage can have major consequences for entire groups of people within a community. During my time at the clinic, I had a lot of opportunities to provide patient education. Each time, imparting critical knowledge to these patients became easier and easier for me. Finally, I learned about more extensive details and nursing implications for sexually transmitted infections, contraception, and general reproductive health issues.

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