Seeing a different side of nursing

IBC Nurse Internship broadens horizons for Lindsey Melillo 

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Lindsey Melillo, 3rd from left, is seen here with Krista Ash and Leah Marwitz, fellow IBC Nurse Interns, and Dr. Angelina Arcamone, Assistant Dean for the Undergraduate Program, at an IBC luncheon for the summer interns.

Senior nursing student Lindsey Melillo from Wilton, Conn., like many other nursing students, jumped at the opportunity to work as a nurse intern in summer 2015 and gain additional experience in the field prior to her graduation. However, unlike many other nursing students, Lindsey chose to complete her internship at ChesPenn Health Services in Upper Darby, Pa., to see a different side of nursing. 

ChesPenn is a non profit organization that provides primary and preventative medical healthcare serves to underserved and uninsured populations in Chester, Pa. and its neighboring communities. Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is one of many organizations that funds and supports ChesPenn and the services they provide. ChesPenn has been providing medical care to these populations since 1973, and now operates four Community Health Centers that provide such access to healthcare for thousands of men, women, and children.  Lindsey was selected as an IBC Nurse Intern and the experience was eye opening.            

During her internship, Lindsey was assigned to a physician at the beginning of every day and interacted with their patients, “I took vitals, understood what brought them in, and worked with labs. I have learned that there is a large population who is uninsured. Of these, several people have never had a doctor’s visit before due to that reason, and many did not visit a doctor annually,” she explains. Being an intern for Independence Blue Cross, Lindsey realized how important health insurance is to have, and what services it enables people to access when it comes to their health. She says, “I’ve learned that insurance is a very important part of nursing because it provides people with the ability to get health care and helps the decision of whether or not to get care when needed.”    

Lindsey explained that the nurse’s role at ChesPenn focused more on teaching and education rather than hands on care, like it would be in hospital settings. She was amazed at the crucial role the nurses played, and the impact they had on patient’s lives. She recalls, “They helped me teach patients about any symptoms they were experiencing and the necessary prevention. They provided a large amount of teaching on weight loss and gain, diabetes, pregnancy and health risks. I provided some teaching to families and individuals as well, and I learned a lot about the process of prenatal care and care after pregnancy.” She also administered vaccines, obtained heights and weights, and completed vision and hearing tests.

Interning at ChesPenn proved to be an invaluable part of Lindsey’s nursing education, “IBC and ChesPenn have offered me a great background in the uninsured population that some other nurses have not experienced.” Although she isn’t exactly sure in what direction she wants her nursing career to go, Lindsey says this internship has broadened her horizons of possibilities.