Community Public Health

Zyanya Salinas
Emphasis Area
Public Health

Zyanya Salinas supported clinicians and patients at a free health clinic serving Tucson’s low-income, uninsured community.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose this internship?

I’m minoring in Spanish and in one of my Spanish classes, the topic of internship opportunities came up. I scheduled a meeting with the Spanish department coordinator to talk about my professional objectives. She then connected me with specific organizations that fit my career goals and what I was interested in. I emailed the supervisor of the Clinic, had an interview, and was offered an amazing internship at Clinica Amistad.

I chose this internship because I am majoring in Applied Humanities with an emphasis in Public Health, am an aspiring nurse, and hope to understand the world of healthcare and how I can best help improve the health of the patients. The opportunity to participate in a significant movement that carries out Tucson's purpose of offering free healthcare to the uninsured made my internship very memorable. Healthcare is not available to everyone, so witnessing the gratitude and smiles of people receiving services was deeply moving. 

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

Clinica Amistad is the only totally free medical facility in Tucson. Its goal is to give the underprivileged and uninsured people in the Tucson area free integrative healthcare. I supported their mission by performing a variety of duties throughout the day at the clinic. This included working directly with clinic employees and patients by assisting doctors, interpreting for patients, and taking patient vital signs. I also performed various administrative tasks like filing medical records, working the front desk, taking emails, phone calls, and scheduling appointments. 

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help to prepare you for the internship experience?

Being an Applied Humanities major taught me how to create and put into practice evidence-based, culturally relevant, and sustainable solutions to help solve the world's health concerns and disparities. This relates directly to my internship because Clinica Amistad depends entirely on the support and charity of the people in the community.

What is the impact of your internship experience? 

The love I already have for the healthcare industry has undoubtedly grown as a result of this internship, which also gave me a better understanding of the inner workings of the healthcare community. I'm even more eager and determined to give back to the health community and share my future preparation and knowledge to help improve the health and overall well-being of people throughout the world. 

What advice do you have for other students as they search for and begin their internship?

For those searching and or beginning an internship, remember that internships allow you to utilize the strategies and skills that you have learned in your college courses. Being able to apply your knowledge in real-life situations can help you further develop your expertise and reinforce the concepts you've learned. Be patient and don't be afraid to learn. Never be embarrassed to try because effort, and sometimes even failure, is where you'll learn the most. Don't feel discouraged if some organizations don't get back to you, it takes one person to say yes.