Journal Entry #6, Outpatient Clinic
Today was an awesome day! I got to work in the Outpatient Clinic with Nurse Figarola. This is the portion of the clinic that sees most general illnesses and common ailments. The clinic is split into a morning session and an afternoon session. The patient signs in and gets a number, then the triage nurse calls each in patients in one by one, by number. Upon entering, basic vitals are taken, along with a height and weight. The triage nurse asks the patient what the complaint is, and then assigns them to a Doctor, and the patient goes to sit in the hall and wait fir the Doctor to call them. I think what amazed me most is the fact that the Nurses and Doctors do not have very much interaction in this clinic.
I got to help take vital signs, listen to general ailments and bandage changes. I realized that illness is the same all over the world with upset bellies, back aches, wounds, vomiting, diarrhea, and joint pain. After we got everyone triaged, we went into a different room to do dressing changes and injections. In the morning we only had two injections for penicillin. There were several bandage replacements, and some seriously interesting wounds! Several wounds were from machettes, but there was one from a dog bite on the ankle , a scrape just below the knee that got infected and had to be lanced, and a really gnarly smashed finger. When i arrived at the hospital, there was a young man who had partially gloved one finger on the top and the bone was exposed, but I didn’t get to see it. Every wound was unbandaged, cleaned with disinfectant, and re-bandaged. It was actually rewarding to see bandages like I learned to fold being used for patient care! Many of the wounds were deep and reminded me of pressure ulcers. It was so very interesting to see them. We removed stitches from c-sections on a few ladies, and changed a few foley catheters.
Even though the equipment is slightly different, the technique is very similar. The sterility might be a little questionable. but this is a third world country, and I chose not to mention anything, as I didn’t want to offend anyone.
At the end of the day Nurse Figarola thanked me for helping and invited me to come back anytime. I checked in with Nurse Madrid on the way out and she hugged me and thanked me for my help. I told her that I really enjoyed it. She is off tomorrow and works Sunday evening, so I told her I would be back Sunday night. She said I didn’t have to come since it was the weekend, but I told her that I wanted to since I missed Monday and Tuesday. After today, I feel confident that all of the Nurses will be welcoming and happy to have my help. Today was so exciting and fulfilling. I really love it here and am thankful that I came.