Today we started our mobile clinic! Donna made arrangements for us to be in the towns of Leogane that neededd the most medical attention and would benefit most from our care. Each town has a community health worker who spreads the news that we are coming. This person, also known as the "Agent sante," finds good locations for us to set up our clinic.
We began our new routine for the next five days today. Each day we wake up before 7, grab a quick breakfast, load the truck with our bags which are organized by category of medical care (GI, respiratory, cardiac, etc), and drive out to the site. We spent probably 45 minutes unloading and setting up for the day. We divide our setup into a few different areas. First we have triage, where four undergrads admit each patient that comes to the clinic. This includes obtaining a medical history, taking vital signs, and performing urine dipstick tests, malaria tests, and pregnancy tests when necessary. Next, the patients go to the nurse practioners, who interview them further about major problems, diagnose them, and prescribe the appropriate medications. Then the patients go to our makeshift pharmacy run by four undergrads. Here, the students dispense all the proper prescribed to each patient while reiterating the appropriate way to take the medications. Each patient also receives a toothbrush and toothpaste, while infants get onsesies. Even pregnant women receive birthing kits to facilitate their own delivery, as access to clinics and other healthcare resources are limited in this region. There were also two private exam rooms for patients-- one for dental procedures and the other for pelvic examinations. Our dentist, Dr. Emmanuel, is a Haitian doctor who assists in our clinics each year. He performs a number of tooth extractions each day, as many of our patients complain of horrible toothaches and rotting teeth (often due to the sticks of sugar cane that they snack on). In the pelvic examination room, women receive pap smears and are evaluated for STDs as needed. Patients also receive breast examinations, and pregnant women can listen to their baby's heart beat on the Doppler monitor!
Today was amazing yet exhausting day for everyone. We were able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat approximately 175 patients in a short 8 hours! At our clinic, we saw a wide variety of individuals with different medical needs. From the difficulty of seeing patients who are terminally ill and beyond our help to witnessing a moms smile upon hearing her baby's heartbeat for the first time, the day was full of emotions for us.
We look forward to another day in our mobile clinic! Be on the lookout for some pictures on the blog sometime tomorrow.
Erin & Lindsay :)
- BC Nurses
- For the past two years, a group of nine undergraduate seniors, four graduate family nurse practitioner students, two FNP alumni, and three faculty members in the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College traveled to Haiti to provide nursing care to patients throughout Haiti. This year, another group is going back! Graduate and undergraduate students, along with faculty and alumni, will be working in Haiti from January 5th, 2013 through January 14th. While the BC school of nursing has given us a grant for the trip, we still need to raise a considerable amount of money to pay for supplies, equipment, and another necessities for the Haitians we will be treating and meeting. We will be updating you throughout the semester and even after our trip on the fundraising efforts, as well as our personal preparations for this journey. We're all VERY excited, and we hope that you will be too!