By Brittany White, Frist Global Health Leader
I have never been to South America. The thought of coming to a new place was exciting but also made me a little nervous. After only a few days here I have quickly realized that the people of Guyana are friendly, generous, and eager to teach outsiders about their culture.
Working in a setting with limited resources forces me to depend more on my clinical skills and physical exam- going 'back to the basics' has been essential during this first week. I have seen a severe traumatic head bleed, a massive heart attack, and multiple traumatic injuries that all required a diagnosis based on limited data that lead me to a decision point where choosing one treatment could be life saving or detrimental based on having the correct diagnosis. I have been learning so much from my Guyanese colleagues and can already tell that I will be a better clinician after my time here.
Most would agree that education is important. This week its importance has been in the forefront of my mind as I have taken care of patients who have very limited knowledge of their disease and how to care for their ill family members. It has been nice to be able to take more time than I am used to with my patients- taking time to educate and listen to what their barriers are and think of ways to overcome these barriers.
I am very exciting to continue working with the Guyanese Emergency Medicine residents, learning from each other as we care for patients together and find ways to sharpen each other to become better clinicians and how to better care for our patients.