July 8, 2010
East Tennessee State University: College of Public Health
For the past week I have been busy both in the community as well as in the clinic, conducting health fairs throughout various communities across the island. As a result we been able to perform 215 blood sugar tests and blood pressure readings over a four week period. Seven of the people screened were referred to Clinica Esperanza due to high blood sugar readings. There are a couple more communities that we are planning to go to within the next week or two.
The clinic has been very busy (as always) and for the past two weeks I have been working in triage. Triaging an adult involves taking the patient’s the weight, blood pressure, heart rate as well as documenting the chief complaint for the patients visit. Obviously triaging a child is a bit different and proves to be a little more difficult because it involves getting weight, height, heart rate, and head circumference (depending on the child’s age) as well as temperature from a typically very unhappy child. On average, we see around 35-40 patients per day and referrals from the community health fairs conducted have been coming to the clinic. It is rewarding to see that the health fairs are beneficial in getting people to the clinic who would not otherwise come in; I found it especially gratifying to have had the opportunity to triage one of the people I had referred to the clinic at one of the health fairs. I have really enjoyed the patient interaction and know that triage helps make the clinic flow a lot more smoothly as it helps the doctor prepare for the patient he or she is about to see.
In my last update I mentioned doing a nutrition education class at the clinic but have since changed my mind and thought it to be more beneficial to conduct classes regarding child health. I have been in the process of planning early childhood developmental/preventative health classes in which I will discuss the importance of nutrition as well as other basic issues concerning the developmental stages of children.
A class on prenatal care is currently conducted every Wednesday at the clinic by a local nurse. However, through shadowing the pediatrician here and working in triage, I have come to realize that many women do not know what to do with their child after it is born. Many do not have basic knowledge regarding the stages of development of their children and are unaware of things a mother can do to enhance her child’s health. This will be the focus of my class and I will keep you all posted.
Again, thank you Hope through Healing Hands Foundation … together we are making a difference here in Roatan.