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College student volunteers time at CHCC

A 20-year-old college student is spending her summer break as a volunteer at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. which is trying to cope with a nursing shortage.

Alexia Sablan-Ada, a student at the University of Guam, said she started volunteering in the first week of June and her stint at CHCC will end the first week of August.

“I was originally assigned to the Maternal and Children’s Health Bureau and here at the Public Health Immunization Program. I decided to stick with immunization because they need me here. I also want to learn about the hospital and the public health system in general, and that’s why I volunteered,” Sablan-Ada said in an interview.

She said the nurses are busy with immunization activities which she cannot be a part of.

Sablan-Ada cannot perform nursing tasks, but she does help with data encoding and making brochures for the information-dissemination program. “We do a lot of community outreach too,” she added.

A former member of AmeriCorps, Sablan-Ada will be a senior at the University of Guam where she is majoring in health science with a concentration in public health and a minor in health-service administration.

“During my downtime here at immunization, I usually go to the cancer registry and work on the charts of cancer patients, putting them in the system,” she said.

“It was my decision to spend my summer break here and volunteer my time. I want to learn how things work because one day I will return here.

“I think it is great to get my feet wet in public health and get a feeling for the concerns and challenges. The next time I’m here, I’ll know where I want to be and what I want to do.”

Sablan-Ada, a recipient of the Saipan Higher Educational Financial Assistance program, is hoping to graduate with honors and pursue a master’s degree before returning to the CNMI and serving the local community.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97414-college-student-volunteers-time-at-chcc

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