Today…all the planning, coordinating, re-planning, and waiting and finally the first day out in the field! I must say I had several moments during the past year when I second-guessed my decision to pursue this project to complete my doctorate, but today took all doubts away as everything came together so nicely. We clicked immediately – Eva, my nurse contact in the Philippines, and her medical mission group.
Maybe, I should backtrack just a moment and explain my project. My project is focused on planning and implementing a sustainable program of wound care education at an international level. Through my contact with David at Two-Thirds World Network (my brother) I was introduced to Eva who leads medical missions for the Filipino people. So now fast forward back to today…
Our mighty group of 6 saw 89 patients in the medical clinic and 30 patients in the dental clinic today. We started at 8:30 and ended at 1:30, and we did have a lunch break, and no one waited more than 10 minutes (give or take a few). Granted these were not extensive medical exams, but everyone received a quick assessment, and saw a doctor or dentist. Medications were provided and counseling was given. This is a holistic approach providing counseling at a physical and spiritual level. None of these patients have insurance and would more than likely not be seen without this group coming in. This group will not be back, but the records taken today are shared with the contact in the community who will keep in touch with them and try to assist them with public health to continue prescriptions or follow-up exams if needed.
This is a small group of powerful ladies – a nurse, nurse assistant, doctor, dentist, dentist assistant. They have their routine so fine-tuned; we arrived at our clinic site, which was a concrete pad with a tin-roof cover and in ten minutes we had a reception desk, pharmacy, nurse’s station, doctor’s desk, dental office, and 2 waiting areas set up – and then the people started coming.
So, did I find a need for wound care or wound prevention? Absolutely, we saw 3 patients today with wounds, and I visited a young man in his home who has been immobile in his bed for 11 years, thankfully he has not developed a pressure ulcer, his family provides excellent care! The supplies I would recommend in the U.S. are not available here, so ingenuity is key! Building a solid background in the anatomy of the skin and the physiology of wound healing provides a foundation for developing the right plan for each individual patient.
Developing a way to share knowledge and provide education also requires ingenuity. These ladies are on the go always and are busy always. Knowledge sharing needs to be easily accessible and in short bites of information. But thank goodness for technology and iPads! We all were busy today getting on our iPads and becoming FB friends…technology will be the link for sharing knowledge!