Monday, December 31, 2007

Saturday, Dec. 22nd - Nursing class

My team came to the orphanage on Saturday morning armed with stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and first aid kits. The HFC board has been trying to come up with ideas to help the children transition into adulthood, and one idea is to introduce them to different careers. Since we are all nursing students, we decided to do a morning of nursing class with whatever kids wanted to participate, just to give them a taste of the medical world. I explained the concepts in Creole to the whole group, and then we split the kids into teams of 4 or 5 and assigned each to an American instructor. In their groups, they practiced taking vital signs, doing basic first aid, and performing CPR. I hardly had to translate anything because our kids suddenly started using the English skills that they normally keep well hidden. It was a wonderful morning, both for the kids and the team. Some of the kids learned things that they may actually use in the future; others just enjoyed the challenge and the contact with the Americans. And most of my team said that our nursing class was the thing that made them connect most deeply with the children.

Getting a heart rate
Getting a 'brain' rate?

Jefthe translating for Hermilus

Practicing CPR on a willing victim - thank you, Job!

Rescue breathing

Chest compressions

More heart rates

Elsa and her students

Jana and Erin teaching blood pressures - those boys caught on fast!

Feeling for a pulse

Lub-dub, lub-dub...
I knew our nursing class had succeeded when a few days later, one of the nannies asked me to check her blood pressure. I went to my room to get the BP cuff, but Martine intercepted me on the way back to the girls' room. "Let me do it, Keziah," she insisted. She did it and got a perfect reading. I was so proud!


Janet said...

The kids sure seem to be enjoying the class. What a great idea! I'm glad to see Jefthe in photos since he's usually so camera shy. Thanks for the photos of him.--Janet

Mikerlange Jean Baptiste said...

Aw That was so long ago. This is awesome!!