Thursday, July 29, 2010

More news from Jacmel

This week, my fellow volunteers and I spent our time helping out with the Haiti Family Initiative while we wait for our clinic in Chabin to open. The Haiti Family Initiative is a 7 week summer camp program which also occasionally holds free clinics depending on whether or not the weekly team has any medically trained volunteers. Sarah, Catherine and I were able to assist with the clinic this week.

All three of us helped with patient intake, which consisted of taking down patient’s names and ages, history, chief complaint and vitals (pulse and blood pressure readings). Initially, I was paired with either Sarah or Catherine, recording the information they received from the patients as I am not yet in medical school. Eventually however, I was trained on how to take vitals myself and was able to do patient intake on my own, which was very exciting for me as an aspiring med student. Sarah and Catherine also were able to move on to assisting the doctors in patient diagnosis and treatment, which for them was awesome because they were able to use more of their medical expertise. Eventually they were even given their own patients, which was great experience for them.

We also had the opportunity to go on a tour of the local hospital, Saint-Michel. There definitely was a lot of destruction caused by the earthquake but we had the impression that it had once been a very nice hospital campus. There were also some new buildings that had been constructed by Doctors without Borders, which provide beds for the pediatric and internal medicine wards. There were also a lot of engineers and construction workers on hand continuing to repair the hospital. According to those who had seen Saint-Michel right after the earthquake, the hospital has made a lot of progress.

Today, Dr. Mona brought over a ton of medications for the new clinic, so tonight we’re working on taking inventory and categorizing these items so that they will be ready for use in Chabin next week.
That's all for now, more updates to come!
Madelin Rocheleau