What does it take to maintain one's own health?


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 newcomers 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”).


Some newcomers 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

As you help newcomers, please remember that they will need to know how to do the following for themselves:

  • How to identify their health needs and how to determine the correct response.  For example: When/how do you pick up over-the-counter medications at the store? When/how do you pick up prescription medications at a pharmacy? When do you call a primary care physician? Urgent Care? 911?
  • How to schedule a medical appointment
  • How to schedule a ride to their medical appointment (or how to take the bus). For scheduling a ride, see the Medicaid Transportation Services page.


Medicaid covers dental care, but not all dental offices accept Medicaid. 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 on this earlier rather than later. WRD staff have taken clients to Tar Heel Family Dentistry. Please find a full listing of area dentists who accept NC Medicaid here. The following resource from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center contains extensive resources for volunteers who are working with newcomers in the area of health. Below is an overview:

Basics of Health and Hygiene Signs Activity, pg. 1

Health Resource Worksheet, pg. 6

Basics of Health and Hygiene Scenarios, pg. 7

Appropriate Seasonal Attire Pictures, pg. 8

Basics of Health and Hygiene Scenarios Activity with Pictures, pg. 9

Doctor’s Visit Role Plays, pg. 26

Personal Hygiene Pictures, pg. 36

Emotional Health Critical Incidents, pg. 47

Possible Feelings During Adjustment Pictures, pg. 50

Professionals Providing Emotional Health Support, pg. 56

Health and Hygiene Unit Vocabulary Worksheets, pg. 57