Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Blood and guts
Our first clinic day has gone great so far. My 10 girls are each assigned to a different position (general consult, pharmacy, ER, well baby visit, weights, blood pressures, office work...) and they are doing marvelously despite the language barrier. We have seen about 200 patients and we expect another 100+ this afternoon. Our highlights: a 65 year old woman who was just diagnosed with HIV and refuses to take her meds; a man with a huge growth in his scrotum that hangs down to his knees; a baby whose whole lower body is swollen and stiff without any visible wound; a diabetic with an injured toe that has turned black and is starting to fall off; and one of my nursing classmates diagnosing a little girl with VUR when no one else could figure out what it was. The exciting thing about this clinic in particular is that it is entirely nurse-run. There is no doctor on the staff, so the nurses do everything themselves, unless a patient is extremely complex, in which case they will send the patient to a larger clinic in Port-au-Prince or in Cange. Coming from American hospitals where everything we do is ordered by a physician, the independence is fantastic!