“I care for a living”: a Staff Member’s Perspective

5:30 a.m. my cell phone rings… it is one of my client’s.   She is in the hospital bleeding and doesn’t understand what the doctors are telling her.  Can I come please?  I rush to the hospital and find out she had a miscarriage.  What could I do other than to be there to support, console and interpret for her.

I got a call from Mary Birch Hospital; a baby was born to a Vietnamese couple who are in desperate need of resources.  They had very little income, no car seat, no clothes, no food for the baby, and on top of that, the baby has a rare heart condition that will require three to four surgeries.  Luckily I was able to find a donated car seat so they could bring the baby home.  I tapped other resources I knew of to find baby food and clothes.  I worked with them on other vital necessities and health issues.  This is not a typical every day situation, though in most cases, my clients are poor and in need of basic resources for their everyday living.

When people ask me what I do for work, I respond with  “I’m in the business of caring”.  Then their curiosity sets in and I explain about UPAC’s many wonderful services and programs and what my job is.

I try hard to go beyond my duties as a health counselor.  I believe small deeds can help change someone’s life for the better.  When compassion kicks in, we find ways to help our clients, make things better for them and their families.  So when I am asked what I do, I tell people, “I care for a living”.