Access To Health Care: Struggle To Serve The Underserved Communities

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Most of my life, my family struggle to gain access to healthcare. As the son of immigrant parents, my family’s lack of money and English-learning status prevented my father from receiving the healthcare he needed. The moment my father had a heart attack, I knew I had to do something to help. Through education and a passion for high quality care, I dedicated myself to learning more about healthcare. I wanted to prevent health problems for my father and for others, as well. My father’s heart attack not only sparked my interest in nursing but ignited a passion for providing exceptional patient care. I want to empower patients by educating them about their health while also providing them with the same level of compassion I show my father.

Having grown up in a medically underserved area, I know the struggle it is to receive healthcare. The challenge becomes harder when your native language is not English. There were times serious health problems that could have been avoided for my family had there been better resources available to the community for healthcare. Knowing the difficulty it can be to receive healthcare, I’m proud to be working in a medically underserved area. I’m proud to have used my native language Farsi to advocate and educate patients regarding their healthcare. I feel that it is my duty to give back to the community and assist those that need healthcare.

I grew up living in an underserved community. However, being a child back then I did not realize the limited amount of resources our community had. Doing my public health rotation in nursing school, I was able to witness firsthand the difference in resources communities had that were only a few minutes away from one another. The underserved communities had little public announcements regarding healthcare information or how to access it. These communities also had significantly more health problems. Seeing the people go through what I have experienced, empowers me to provide care to this type of population. I want to do what I can to help these communities receive the healthcare they need.

My short-term career goals are to continue working at UC Davis medical Center to provide care in a medically underserved community while continuing to advance my nursing practice. Working in a medically underserved area, I have frequently provided nursing care to the homeless. It’s been a blessing to educate these patients about their health and to assist them into a better living condition while improving their health. My nursing philosophy is to make sure every patient receives the same compassion and respect that all people deserve.

My long-term career goal involves me going back to school to become Family Nurse Practitioner. I believe the first part in helping the underserved community comes from primary care. This is the starting point for communities in receiving care. My family did not have access to primary care and I believe this is integral in reducing health problems. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I can provide that first stepping stone in providing healthcare to people in medically underserved communities.

English was my third language growing up. When seeking healthcare, my family and I had a hard time explaining to healthcare professionals what the problem was due to the communication barrier. In addition to the communication barrier, our beliefs would also play a part in how we would receive care. From experience, I now know the importance of being culturally competent. Fortunately, I have been able to take care of people from my cultural background and provide culturally competent care. I took care a patient who was Farsi speaking only and I can see the ease of the patient once I introduce myself to him. This experience made me realize the importance of having a diverse healthcare team to be able to provide cultural and linguistic care.

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