Bethany Schweiner, a third year Kinesiology-Rehabilitation Science major turned her interest in the healthcare industry into a unique way to serve the community. Schweiner, who dreams of becoming a physician’s assistant, fulfilled her service-learning requirement volunteering with the Community Connections Team at Marshfield Clinic.
Schweiner was first introduced to the project as a freshman during a Pre-Professional Health Club meeting. Once she started volunteering, she was quickly taught how to connect patients at the Marshfield Clinic with local resources that promote good health and continual support for community members. Every day while volunteering on the Community Connections Team, Schweiner was provided with new challenges and experiences.
“Most times, in order to offer more resources, I had to page through our binder of common resources in the Eau Claire area, or search the internet for new ones. There was no such thing as an average day, since all days were different and the patients you communicated with were different each shift. Some days you made more calls than others, and some days were more challenging than others.”
Additionally, Schweiner was also introduced to a side of Eau Claire that she had never seen before. “I found it surprising that Eau Claire has so many people in need of basic resources. I was never exposed to this type of hardship before,”
Overall, due to the experiences of Schweiner’s service-learning project, she was able to gain a better appreciation of the Eau Claire community as well as getting practical experience in the healthcare industry. When discussing the benefits of volunteer service, Schweiner said, “Communication skills increase greatly, ability to problem solve greatens, and teamwork and leadership benefits!” Schweiner also talked about the positive impacts her volunteer service had in her own life. “I aim to help others in my daily life, and this gave me the opportunity each and every week. In another aspect, I met one of my now best friends through the CCT—so of course I enjoyed getting to know her during this time and build a relationship that lasts to this day!”
Schweiner’s experiences with the Marshfield Clinic Community Connections Team helped her gain invaluable experience in the healthcare industry, strengthened her awareness of the Eau Claire community, and even made lifelong connections thanks to service-learning.