Nursing and Med School Students, Faculty Join U.Va. Colleagues at RAM Clinic

More than 1,000 patients are expected at this weekend's annual Remote Area Medical Clinic, a three-day health care extravaganza supported by the University of Virginia Medical Center and U.Va.'s schools of Medicine and Nursing.

Nursing professor Audrey Snyder and Medical School professor Scott Syverud trained dozens of nursing and medical students for the event, touching on everything from treatment guidelines for diabetes to asthma and psychiatric disorders. The annual RAM clinic provides an extraordinary opportunity for nursing and medical students to team up to provide care, boosting not only their clinical skills but their abilities to work and solve problems together.

On Wednesday morning, U.Va. volunteers packed trucks with medical supplies and equipment to make the six-hour, 300-mile trip to the Virginia-Kentucky Fairgrounds in Wise County, where clinics will be held in assembled tents.

Organizers estimate the 240 U.Va. volunteers will be on hand at the fairgrounds between Friday and Sunday, providing routine care – everything from Pap smears to colonoscopies, diabetes care to mammograms, hypertension and immunizations. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis, and care is free to anyone who comes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

Patients needing more specialized care can be seen by Medical Center physicians via telemedicine.

For many patients, Snyder said, the RAM Clinic offers the only care they receive all year.

Social workers will also be available to help patients develop a plan to manage their conditions and guide them to community resources.

– by Christine Phelan Kueter