I am a natural observer. Well is it natural or has that been taught? I think observing is definitely part of being a nurse; we are taught from day one to observe and assess our patients and their environment. I also think it is just part of who I am. I am most comfortable when I can view something or contemplate an issue, then make a decision and take action. I have visited three barangays (villages) this week and dependence on family and friends is a huge factor in health care. There is just simply a very large population of people who are below the poverty level and cannot afford many things, insurance coverage most definitely. I talked with a leader in one barangay this week that spoke of the tremendous problem of malnutrition. One of the biggest needs from free clinics is a vitamin supplement for the babies and children. Malnutrition impacts health issues for adults as well and can lead to many other disease processes, decreased quality of life, and affects the whole community with a growing population of individuals with growing health concerns.
As I think about these issues, the population numbers can be overwhelming. How can health care professionals realistically meet the needs of this population…it is daunting. Providing opportunities for health care professionals to learn and grow is much needed and greatly appreciated. However, maybe some learning materials for the layperson would be helpful. I saw a young man yesterday who had a bicycle accident and acquired a significant wound in the process. This happened 2 weeks ago and the wound on his foot is just not healing. He has not seen a doctor, but he found out I was here; last night he came to where I was staying and I was able to come up with a plan for him. I can’t help but wish that he could have gotten help sooner and would not have the problem with a chronic wound developing. So as I watch and listen, observing the needs of this population, I begin to see some changes, adjustments and maybe additions to my project.
But for now, rest is needed. Tomorrow we travel to another area!