new spanish phrases for the day: tiene las alergias para las medicinas? cuales son sus sintomas?
we finally started setting up the clinic today! we traveled about two hours to a community called galeras.at a local school there, we set up different stations in the different classrooms that included triage, medical consultations, dental, pharmacy, gynecologist, charla [chat] para adultos and charla para ninos. for the morning shift, i got to work at triage.
triage essentially was where we signed the patients in. global brigades has a data informatics system set up so that they can do future research on some of the community patients. our job at triage was to enter patients into the system and ask for medical backgrounds/allergies, take blood pressures/weight/height/temperature and finally ask for what types of symptoms they were experiencing (pain, headache, etc.) it was exciting to finally interact with the locals, most of whom knew absolutely zero english. it was hard at first to try and ask them questions because it seemed like they weren’t quite able to understand our english accent. but with practice, we got better at what we were doing and quickly were able to sign in several patients! even though it was a sunday, most of the patients who came in were women and children because the men were probably working.
in the afternoon, i got to work in the charlas para ninos [chat for children]. so after everybody goes through the medical consultations and/or dental, they come to the charlas to learn about ways that they can prevent future health issues. because we got to create our own curriculum for the little kids, we decided to teach them about brushing their teeth!
we made up a song to the tune of frere jacha. it was a lot of fun and if the kids couldn’t really understand the lyrics we were saying, at least they got some fun entertainment. afterwards, we gave each of them a toothbrush and some mini toothpaste so that they could try it themselves! we cheered them on as they brushed their teeth and told them to do it mas! [more!] or con mas fuerte! [with more strength!] it was really fun and the kids were all adorable although i did get a good amount of kid spit on me. oh well.
the first day of clinic was successful but i felt at times that i didn’t really know what was going on. it was a little bit disorganized but i’m glad to be a part of something big for this community. after dinner, we did reflections and talked about what other types of projects global brigades have. the ultimate goal of this organization is to allow the communities to become self sustainable. and that is why we not only prescribe them with certain medications, we want to make sure that are educated about how they can prevent other illnesses.
*note: i wrote this last night but the internet connection wasn’t great so i couldn’t post it until today! another update about day three to come later (: