In 2020, Trent Henderson would frequently drive past the Volunteers in Medicine campus while on his way to and from work as a CNA at St. Charles. One day, he finally decided–it was time to take the plunge into volunteering. 

The goal: Gain more exposure to an outpatient setting, improve his Spanish speaking, further his clinical skills, and give back to the community that he loves. It all makes sense as Trent has a degree in Nutrition and Health Sciences from Oregon State University. 

Like many younger volunteers at VIM, Trent is pursuing a career in the medical field and VIM provided him an opportunity to be exposed to the work-life of physicians. Volunteering in the clinic was a different and more rewarding experience than shadowing or being a patient. It also allowed him to get to know some of the physicians personally and is even receiving a letter of recommendation.

Trent has a special appreciation for the clinic, because when he spent a year in Argentina, he was sick for a couple of weeks and felt he didn’t have anyone or anything to fall back on for medical care. While they have universal healthcare there, he didn’t know how to navigate the system or if he even had access as a non-citizen. Fortunately, through a connection with his exchange organization Trent was able to receive the care he needed. This experience gave him first-hand knowledge of what many VIM patients feel before contacting the clinic.

Trent has enjoyed his volunteering at VIM and is appreciative of the time and energy volunteers and staff put in to make sure patients feel welcomed, heard, and cared for. He wanted to give special thanks to the interpreters that help the clinic run so smoothly. Knowing the medical terminology in both languages and mirroring tonal shifts of a live conversation is a niche and challenging skill that he’s in awe of!


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