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Healthy Balance

The People Behind Remote Area Medical: Ellen Shields, RN

240 UVA employees, nursing and medical students are volunteering at the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise, Va., this week. We’re talking to some of them and sharing their stories. Ellen Shields is a registered nurse at UVA. We caught up with her around 1 p.m. today.

What is your job at RAM?

I’m the leader of the blue team. We see endocrinology patients, including people with diabetes, and other people with high cholesterol and hypertension. We have a diabetes coordinator, patient educator and a social worker. There are 20, maybe 22 of us altogether, between the medical students and the nursing students, all the helpers.

What’s your job like as the leader?

Part of my role is keeping the flow going. I make sure every patient that comes in gets assigned a doctor or medical student. We put them into a room and make them comfortable. I’m making sure that the flow continues, and we keep moving because we have so many patients.

How’s today been going so far?

We’ve been busy. Really busy.

Were there any patients who stood out to you?

We already sent two patients to the emergency tent as they came in. Their symptoms required that. And there are just a lot of really nice people here who are trying to get some assistance.

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