In hopes of becoming the best health professional I could be in the near future, I was excited for what National Health Corps (NHC) Florida would allow me to gain throughout the course of the service term. So, I packed all the essentials and dove into this new journey, thinking that I’d be ready for anything that was thrown at me. As I reflect on the service term, I am pleased to have learned so much about my likes and dislikes and to have gained skills in public speaking, organization, and leadership that will be beneficial in the long-run. I faced a unique set of challenges while improving each of these skills; however, these improvements were somewhat expected since I knew these would be skills that I wanted to improve on. Personally, the most valuable skills that I gained during my service term with National Health Corps Florida were the ones that I did not predict, such as motivational interviewing and the ability to adapt to change.
Adapting to change became a skill that I grew to embrace during my service term. From rescheduling classes to last minute changes in discussion topics, it was vital to learn how to roll with these changes and to learn how to adjust quickly. By adapting to these changes, I believe that I was able to become a better facilitator and health professional as well as an overall stronger individual.
Motivational interviewing was a skill that I was able to improve on daily while interacting with clients. I was aware of the purpose behind motivational interviewing prior to NHC, which is to help clients identify thoughts and feeling towards an unhealthy behavior and help aid in a positive behavior change. However, I felt as though my attempts at motivational interviewing would reach a plateau once clients expressed a variety of reasons as to why they could not improve on a health behavior. It was only after I had taken a motivational interviewing training that I was able to adjust and improve on my motivational interviewing techniques. Meeting clients’ health goals realistically and discussing ways to make subtle changes in their lifestyle that would be feasible for them resulted in a more positive reaction from my clients. With these skills that I have developed throughout the service term, I look forward to continuing my journey in helping others enact positive lifestyle changes.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Kim Feliciano.
Kim serves at NEFHSC as a Health Educator.