DAY FIVE: Final Clinic Day, Team Celebration and Bus Ride to Antigua

Posted on: 01/17/2020

Author: Hannah Jacobs

Wednesday’s totals:

 

GENERAL: 136

PEDIATRICS: 56

GYNECOLOGY: 49

DERMATOLOGY: 43

DENTAL: 45

VIA/CRYO: 50

MOBILITY CLINIC: 28

REFERRALS: 125

LAB: 97

 

All in all, on Wednesday we saw a total of 585 patients!

 

For our last morning devotional, the costume competition was in full swing! Sylvia continued her reign with a Rudolph costume, but Lorena PT stole the show with a dress hand crafted from newspaper!

 

In our last triage of the trip, I observed Cindy a veterinarian by career, working with our team as a pharmacy assistant listening to patients. She would ask them what issues they were having and how we could help them. When they were finished explaining, she would ask them “hay algo más?” or is there something else? She would then follow by explaining that it was great if that was the extent of their problems, but if there is more she would like to know. This method made sure that patients had all their concerns addressed, because often patients will only mention some of them in triage. Oftentimes, later in the day, patients will divulge several other concerns, and by that point we may be unable to help them. However, if they are all initially laid out we can send them to the appropriate place or places and Cindy’s method helps ensure this happens.

 

Today was a busy day in Gynecology and VIAA Cryo. Several women who spoke only their native Mayan language came on a bus together, and at first one man was attempting to translate for everyone that was in the Gynecology clinic. Luckily, soon the program coordinator came and was able to translate as well. Nurse Anna did a presentation outside of the clinic  on women’s health, and the translators helped her translate the information to all the patients.

 

At lunch the team discusses how patients they referred fared in other clinics. Dr. O’Brien inquired about an infant she had sent to dermatology for a rash, and what they had been able to do for him. The dermatology team took great care of him, and even took a break mid lunch to make sure that he understood the correct way to take his medication.  These patients stay with the providers long after they have left the facility. Each patient makes such an impact, and the doctor’s truly care about their wellbeing.

 

 

 

As our week comes to an end, we are reflecting on the impact that this community has had on us. Everyone was so gracious and welcoming. The local volunteers have been so amazing to work with, and so helpful. In Machaquilá, often times the young red hat volunteers helped with translating indigenous languages to Spanish. Also, they do a fantastic job with the important task of guiding the patients from triage to the appropriate locations, and making sure they understand where to go if they are visiting more than one clinic. We also would be lost without our kitchen staff  especially cook Hector, who keep us well fed, hydrated, and mostly importantly, caffeinated. They always have coffee, iced tea, and Gatorade available, and the lunches have been  delicious. The morning snack run is also always a hit with everyone when the volunteers come around with a bin of snacks. Our drivers have safely transported us to and from each day, for which we are so thankful. Our security staff has made sure we are safe and happy.

 

Dr. Moore MD shares this fond memory from the trip:

“One of my favorite parts of the trip is the “love of laughter“ among our patients. Granted, I provide more than a few comical opportunities with my attempts at speaking Spanish and my  gestures when I cannot come up with the correct word. Janet RN has been kind enough to interpret for me  during this trip and she is a true angel. Janet not only understands the language, she understands the people and has lived in Central America. She “gets it” from so many angles. Therefore, we laugh a lot in our wheelchair clinic as she brings out the best in our patients. She gets a full history with many joyful stories and some heart wrenching details about their lives and medical histories.”

 

“I would also like to thank the entire wheelchair staff for being so incredible and supportive. In particular, I want to thank Byron for helping out each day and instilling hope in the patients who we fit with wheelchairs. Because of you, they can see that you can have a full life in a wheelchair, and how far a positive outlook will take you.”

 

The team dinner was held at the hotel and accompanied by a lovely band. We all received certificates from the Governor of Poptún in recognition of our service to the region. Also, the traditions of sharing stories while handing out certificates and the Pharmettes performing a song for us lived on!