Mailin Rivera


Traineeship Year:


When I was accepted into the Arizona State University, Masters of Social Work Program, I had one goal in mind. I was determined to find an internship that focused on medical social work. As I researched all the opportunities each internship provided, I knew that interning with the University of Arizona Pediatric Pulmonary Center would help me grow in all possible areas as a social worker. I was given the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team that would help me gain experience on how they work together to provide the best care for patients with cystic fibrosis. All working professionals of this team was able to provide me with their expertise on what the disease entails and how it effects our patients.

I was able to attend presentations every week that educated me on cystic fibrosis and other topics that are beneficial when working with patients in a medical setting. I attended conferences that would help prepare me to be a better leader and provided me with networking opportunities. Being new to Arizona I was delighted to be able to visit the reservation of the Tohono O'odham tribe in Sells, AZ and take a tour of Nogales, AZ to observe how services are provided to their population.

As part of my traineeship project, I focused on how important the right amount of calorie intake for patients with cystic fibrosis can help improve their lung strength. I felt it was important to see if our patients had access to high caloric food if they could not afford it financially. After seeing the need for community food banks to carry high fat, high calorie foods I set out to attempt to have this service provided to patients who were in need.

I have grown in so many ways due to this internship. It challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone. I was educated on so much more than working with patients one on one. I am grateful for every opportunity I was provided in this traineeship to grow as a social work intern and a future social work leader. I would not be able to gain this experience through any other internship offered at ASU and I feel it would be a loss for students not to be able to reap the benefits of such a wonderful program.