Today was day one of our trip at the Friends of the Children of Haiti Clinic. Seven out of the 13 of us were newbies. Fortunately, we have great leaders in Jenna and Chrissy helping show the ropes. Clearly, the clinic is well known in the neighborhood – people were lined up to be seen starting the night before. We had a total of seven clinicians – four from the US, three from Haiti. Between them, our triage nurses, our non-meds, and the many local staff, We took care of almost 300 patients.
The medical care was eye opening. There were blood pressures in people beyond anything I’ve ever seen in the states outside an ICU. We had babies with malnutrition, infants with horrendous rashes, and seniors with marked osteoporosis and arthritic deformities. Despite it all, the patients were patient, kind, respectful and so clearly appreciative. It really brought into sharp focus why we’re here, and why we went into healthcare in the first place.
We’re all looking forward to the week. I’m thinking equal parts exhaustion and exhilaration, with some breathtaking scenery, personal heroism from both the volunteers and locals and reinvigorating our sense of purpose are all in store.
by Amy Compton-Phillips.