Welcome to The Blog ™ 🙂 My name is Kara and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing back in May of 2020 (is starting a nursing career in a global pandemic timely or tragic, lmk!). After graduating on the front porch of my house in front of a few masked neighbors and receiving my (napkin) diploma, I started my career at Vanderbilt working in palliative care. Last winter, I pivoted over to the Public Health Department and have been working in their Women’s Health and Family Planning clinics since. When first developing my Lumos project back in 2019, I was driven by my clinical experiences with spanish-speaking patients, noting the discrepancies in care and room for neglect related to miscommunication or fear thereof between providers and patients with this communication need. A large majority of the patients I see at the Health Department are immigrants or refugees from South or Central America. Daily I am confronted by this language barrier with my patients, which I trust is a reflection of the greater problem in our healthcare system to meet basic needs in our spanish-speaking populations. Between taking Spanish classes at a local language school and experiencing full immersion while living with a host family in Buenos Aires, my hope is to return to Nashville with the ability to communicate effectively and empathetically with my spanish-speaking neighbors and patients.
In Argentina, I will be interning with Venir Al Mundo, translated “Come Into the World”, a doula association located in a northeastern neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Founded in 2010, the organization is made up of a community of trained doulas whose goal is to physically, emotionally, and educationally support mothers throughout their pregnancies and first year postpartum. The hospitals in which they provide labor assistance serve primarily low-income populations and prioritize aid to women lacking social support. I have had the opportunity to work as a volunteer doula at Vanderbilt during my senior year of college and look forward to utilizing those skills, as well as the countless others I learn during my internship, throughout the next 4.5 months. I am filled with immense gratitude to finally see this project come to fruition, thanks for tuning in! Smash that subscribe button! (that was for all my Gen-Z fans).