Language: Part of Health Self-Sufficiency is learning English related to health care. Volunteers should always be mindful to “teach while they do.” If you take refugees to an appointment, teach them how to check in (where to go, what to say), how to request an interpreter (many Health Clinics have the ability to call a “language line”), and how to tell the doctor what is wrong (“I have a _____ ache”).
Hygiene: Some refugees have not had to keep apartments clean, nor have they had things like soap to wash their hands, etc. Volunteers can model, show, and teach about these various aspects of life as they see need.
Medical Care: Refugees will start learning the many aspects of health care in the U.S. They will need to learn how to identify their own health needs, how to communicate those needs to the appropriate people/institutions, and they will need to make and go to their own appointments.
As you partner with refugees, please remember that they will need to learn the following (and not just for you to do it for them):
- How to identify their needs and how to determine the correct response: When do you pick up over-the-counter medicine at the store? How do you pick up medicine at a pharmacy? When do you call a doctor? Urgent Care? 911?
- How to choose what medicine to get at the store—ask someone at the pharmacy to help you
- How to schedule an appointment
- How to schedule a ride to their appointment (or how to take the bus). For info on scheduling a ride, see the Medicaid Transportation Services page.
Dental: Medicaid covers some dental care. Remember that Medicaid is only set to last for the first 8 months (though it can sometimes be renewed), and so it is best to start addressing dental needs earlier than later.