Civic Engagement Scholars at Oglethorpe are required to complete a nonprofit internship of their choice during their junior year. Cassie Hendrix ’12 did s0 at The Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, under the direction of Oglethorpe alumna Dr. Claire Coles ’75. As part of her internship Cassie’s completed weekly journal entries. I thought the ones below were especially poignant and wanted to share it with the Oglethorpe community. – Heather Staniszewski ’02, Assistant Director, Center for Civic Engagement
The Marcus Autism Center: Week Two (5/31/10-6/4/10)
By Cassie Hendrix ’12
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Today was an extremely hectic day. After waking up at 7 am in order to get to work on time, I show up at the Marcus Autism Center to find that the head nurse was absent. Not only was she absent, but she was without a replacement. So began my day-long stint as the head nurse for the FAS clinic.
Fortunately, there were other nurses around who weighed and measured the kids who came in, but it was almost entirely up to me to make sure everyone was called back to the exam room at the appropriate time, have the parents fill out the proper paperwork, ensure that the correct physical abnormalities were checked off on the dysmorphia checklist, help the families check out completely at the front desk and perform sundry other tasks. On my second day at the clinic ever. Talk about learning quickly.
Overall, it really wasn’t too bad. It was a bit stressful and extremely busy, but I got a lot of support from the people I work with at the FASDE Center. It just so happened that I knew about the nurse’s routines and about what exactly she did during the clinic day (since I worked under her the previous week), hence my temporary promotion. …
Despite the stress, I really enjoyed having more to do and staying constantly busy; I really felt like I was useful and had something to offer the FASDE Center. And the compliments and verbal appreciation I received for working so hard didn’t hurt either. I definitely made mistakes and forgot a couple things, but it was surprisingly okay that I did so – everyone was immensely understanding about my shortcomings. After all, it was only my fourth day at the Marcus Autism Center and my second day at the FAS clinic. The only “bad” part of my day, I suppose, was having a Lego thrown at my face and my foot urinated on by a 15-year-old boy. Even that, though, was more saddening than frustrating. Continue reading