The TB advocates are health professional students of any class who serve as supporters and advocates for patients diagnosed with latent tuberculosis. They are part of the Haven LTBI initiative.
TB advocates meet weekly or monthly with patients in the LTBI program in order to check for medication side-effects, support treatment adherence, prescribe necessary TB medication, and address any other health concerns as needed. They have the unique opportunity to interact directly with HAVEN Free Clinic attendings by presenting the patients and finalizing the plan for the patients’ needs.
TB advocates are part of the HAVEN Latent Tuberculosis Initiative (LTBI) and work independently to advocate for a unique patient population in need of latent tuberculosis treatment. Latent TB patients are those who have had a positive PPD test but a negative chest X-ray, indicating that they have been exposed to tuberculosis, but do not have active disease. These patients require many months of antibiotic treatment to eliminate the infection.
TB advocates meet monthly with patients in the LTBI program - each patient is seen routinely for nine months - in order to check for medication side-effects, support treatment adherence, prescribe necessary TB medication, and address any other health concerns as needed. They have the unique opportunity to interact directly with HAVEN Free Clinic attendings by presenting the patients and finalizing the plan for the patients’ needs. Furthermore, they experience providing direct and continuous patient care without being a Senior Clinical Team Member. In this way, TB advocates are relied upon by their patients as their health-care provider. Ideally, each TB advocate will have 4-5 patients.
This position also serves as a unique opportunity to learn about tuberculosis, its clinical management, and most importantly what it may mean to serve independently as the care-provider and advocate for patients. Given that TB advocates see the same patients every month, a significant relationship develops resulting in patients trusting TB advocates for discussion/management of their other health concerns. Thus, in this position, students can become very involved in the care of other health issues apart from latent TB under the supervision of the Clinical Advisors and attendings. However, this is dependent on the TB advocates’ level of comfort as they can always set up a separate appointment for their patients to see a clinical team.
No prior experience is necessary other than fluent Spanish speaking skills. The rest of the skills will be taught through direct shadowing and training. This would be a year-long commitment to HAVEN, and you will be working directly with a HAVEN Clinical Advisor overseeing the LTBI program. The LTBI program is a successful initiative unique among student-run free clinics and we are looking for dedicated, passionate people to continue to develop and administer this program!
Who is Eligible:
Fluent Spanish-speakers enrolled in the Yale School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or Physician Associate Programs
Applicants can be in any year of these programs.
A year-long commitment to the LTBI program, from January 2017 to mid-February 2018
Candidates are interviewed in November and begin training in January