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Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO)

This past weekend I volunteered for CoSMO, a primary care center dedicated to serving the patients in the Washington Heights community of Manhattan. It's a student run clinic combining the expertise of medical students, nursing students, public health students, and social work students to provide patient care. Attending physicians from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and New York Presbyterian (NYP) also oversee the students during clinical hours.

As a nursing student, I was overseen by a nursing preceptor who was in a cohort before me. I had the opportunity to call patients in, take their vitals, ask them a series of questions pertaining to past medical history, chief complaint, medications, etc. If a patient needed a glucose reading, I would perform a finger stick before the patient interviews would begin. After the initial visit, I would do a verbal handoff to a medical student who then further assesses the patient. Then after some time, the medical students would decide whether some labs need to be done on a patient. This was where I was able to come in. I practiced drawing blood on an actual patient for the first time. The last patient I drew on was pretty successful so that was a nice way to end the day!

Being able to see other health professional students work together and act like we were the "real deal" was pretty neat. I mean, technically, in a year or two, we WILL be the real deal, so getting in this practice and having some independence as a student is a great start.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. Talk to you soon!



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