Thursday, March 9, 2017

Privilege and Perspective

It has been a privilege to spend the past few days in Guatemala. I have already learned so much from the staff members accompanying us on the trip.  For example, Dr. Lauri demonstrated how to properly examine an eye and view the capillaries then allowed for me to practice the technique.  Nurse Stephanie reminded me that the clients are always the priority, no matter what is going on around you.  Stephanie’s actions reminded me of this when triage was a madhouse, but she managed to still provide a young boy, Wilmar, with attention and education while accomplishing other tasks.  Dr. Eric taught me the importance of a smile by always having a smile on his face and announcing how many hugs and kisses he receives in a day.  Rabbi Abie taught me about the brain’s great ability to compensate in incredible ways when sight is involved.  Stephanie Renny emphasized the importance of organization to maintain order, a necessity when several doctors and many many clients are involved.  Finally, Dr. Richard demonstrated caring for the whole person, not solely the physical aspect of a person.  It has been remarkable thus far to see how dedicated and engaged the staff members are, but also my fellow Xavier students.

Each day has been incredible, but today was by far the best.  I had the privilege of spending the morning with Dr. Eric in the pharmacy which allowed for me to further learn about medications, especially the different forms of insulin replacement therapies.  In addition to pharmacy, I was able to play with all the kids, help educate them about proper dental hygiene, and simply hold babies.  Something about holding a child puts all of life’s problems into perspective, especially in Guatemala; the mothers are so trusting and willing here.  Then, in the afternoon, I was afforded the opportunity to shadow Dr. Richard.  Shadowing Dr. Richard was certainly a treat due to his love for education and wealth of knowledge.  He is able to spout of information about cholesterol, thyroids, vascularization, etc. without even having to stop and think.  While I did greatly enjoy learning about Statin medications, the best and worst part of my day occurred during an interaction with a client.  On Monday, I had met a girl only a few months younger than me who loved Twenty-One Pilots, Fergie, and Coldplay, so naturally we rocked out to Fergie.  However, on Wednesday I learned that the same girl was faced with many life difficulties and was having physical symptoms because of it.  It was a hard pill to swallow that I hadn’t seen it on Monday, but it was a reminder that so many people have things going on that others know nothing about.

Madeline McGraw

No comments: