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Valerie Tran

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The beauty of public health is that every day is different and roles and responsibilities are flexible!  Working in the Immunization Program has definitely taught me this. Sometimes, my day would include drafting health advisories, developing educational materials, organizing mass vaccination clinics, or writing newsletters. Other times, I would go out to elementary schools and conduct assessments of their immunization records to ensure that the students were compliant with state immunization requirements. Or, I could be out overseeing the mass vaccination clinics that I'd previously organized. I would also work at health fairs or give presentations to students. Finally, I might be called to serve as a media spokesperson and would be interviewed on the TV or radio to discuss current news and recommendations for immunizations. Sometimes a few of these could happen in one day which kept things very exciting!

The hands-on experience I have gotten thus far through the PHAP program has been incredibly valuable, but I don't think you can ever have enough hands-on experience in public health. Every day brings a new public health challenge that can teach a great lesson. Whether the challenge is an outbreak of a communicable disease, political issue, reduced budgets, incorrect news in the media, or new health laws, there is always something to learn and room to improve. Hands-on experience is crucial for people working in public health, especially if they plan to hold higher level management or policy positions. Ultimately, though this position has sometimes been difficult, I definitely welcome the challenge and pressure to perform to my full potential so that both my host site and I will benefit and thrive.

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