Tuesday, June 19, 2012

La Clínica

We spent the week working at a small clinic in Jocotenango. Some days, we did patient intake where we would talk to the patient before they saw the doctor, taking vitals and asking for symptoms. When not doing intake, we would take turns shadowing the doctor, just like we do in the States. The whole week was great practice for speaking and listening to Spanish. I was very grateful for the opportunity to practice what we learned the first two weeks. It was also great to spend the week in the same place so we had the chance to get to know the process a little bit better, and the people that made it work.

The clinic was pretty small, one room for the doctor, one room for intake, and one room for vaccinations. The patients were always lined up at the door each morning, for they don’t have a system for making appointments. Once the doors open, the patients check in with the nurse who gives them a number and takes their chart off the wall. In Antigua, a chart is simply a piece of paper with the date of each visit and the symptoms listed on the page near where the doctor writes the prescription, nothing like our electronic records. One by one we would call the patients in, take their vitals, and ask what brought them to the clinic for the day, then send them back out to the waiting room until the doctor was ready to see them. We saw everything from colds to bites to burns.

At the clinic, there were three nurses and one doctor, all of whom were so nice, allowing us to participate in as much as we could, including giving some vaccinations. I was so appreciative of the opportunity to practice my spanish, especially the listening, and the opportunity to see, once again, how a culture takes what they have and does their best with it. It was a very different experience from what we are used to in the states, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to see it.


Post a Comment