Skandalaris Center

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TCARE | The right support, at the right time for every journey. [SkIP 2020]

Ailin Deng (MS)
June 30, 2020

I am a graduate student at WashU, studying computer and information science, computer/information technology service administration and management, interested in software applications. 

"Empowering care professionals with the right tools to help family caregivers."



This summer, I’ve got a great opportunity to work with TCARE as a software engineer intern. My job is to optimize software based on Solr system design, including true geospatial search functionality, blending in 'virtual resources' as well.  The developer team in the company gave me a lot of space, encouraging me to design the whole project almost on my own. I can work on architecture/design, technical operation components, etc. My manager said it’s up to me for what and how much I want to take on.

Though I've learned a lot of algorithms and the basics of the full-stack web development at school, I should face the fact that what I have learned so far is so limited. No matter how many courses I’ve attended, how many course projects I’ve done, when facing a real industry project, what I can do is so limited. The process of finding the solution, failing, and digging deeper, has made me improve a lot. Even the familiar things could be kind of trouble at the beginning, from basics like configuration in a different server, to the big picture design of full-stack. But at least I have the courage to start over and learn from the very beginning. This internship gives me the opportunity to learn, to gain experience, and even to make mistakes.

"Don't let fear paralyze you on this."

----Mike Mings (My Supervisor)

An integrated system from screening to follow-up

Meanwhile, this summer is also an extremely special time for all the community. I’m from China. And It is my first time taking a job in the U.S. I still feel so lucky it is with TCARE, and the Skandalaris. To be honest, I had so many concerns at first, even am I pronouncing things correctly? Is that appropriate to laugh now? And soon I realized there is only so much I can control. So let it go. At least, it is impossible for an intern to screw things up and cause too much damage.

TCARE is an evidence-based care management support system for care managers & healthcare professionals who work with family caregivers. This course provides a basic overview of Family Caregivers, the science behind Caregiver Identity Change Theory, and TCARE's, proven six-step care management support system to reduce family caregiver stress & burnout. On the TCARE website, it says that “The right support, at the right time for every caregiving journey”. This is exactly how I feel about the summer internship. Thanks for those who gave me the right support whenever I need it. It was those people, who made this summer unforgettable. Being around people who know how to care for others, helped me love the job from the heart.

"Don’t be too hard on yourself – it’s clear you care about your work."

----Jessica Weldon (Assistant Director of Programs)

With the Skandalaris center, we gather together, fighting for the greatest good, trying to find a balance between the extremely changing world and the peaceful academic campus. This internship experience explores both society and our surroundings, preparing us for future success in our careers.