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PCP Student Provided First Aid During Papal Weekend in Philly

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis

Joellen FriedmanAfter a successful Papal weekend in Philadelphia, the medical tents are down and volunteers, like student-pharmacist Joellen Friedman PharmD’16, are back to their routine schedules. Friedman spent the eventful weekend as a first-aid volunteer with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps.

“Our first-aid tent was one of the more active ones in the city, and we took care of several patients who experienced minor scrapes and blisters, falls and fainting, and asthma exacerbations,” said Friedman.  “As a pharmacy student, I was able to use my skills to take patient medical histories and talk to our clinicians about the care we were providing.”

Over the weekend, 10 medical tents were set up around the city staffed by volunteers with the American Red Cross, Philadelphia Fire Department/EMT, Philadelphia Department of Health, and other local EMS squads. Six smaller stations were designed to treat problems like blisters or mild dehydration, while four larger medical tents were set up to take care of patients with more serious problems, like fainting.

During her 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday, Friedman served as her team’s volunteer shift coordinator, which put her in charge of managing the patient record system, keeping track of attendance, and communicating with supervisors at the other first aid and medical tents in the city.

Friedman said she has a passion for using her pharmacy education to help others, and recently completed an interprofessional medical mission trip in Jamaica to provide essential medical services to Jamaicans in critical need of quality medical and dental care, health awareness education, and pediatric care. 

Categories: Profiles, Pharmacy, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Practice, Community, Student