Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mí VIDA en Nicaragua

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The week we spent in Nicaragua has definitely been one of the highlights of this trip so far. Working with Vida, an organization devoted to bringing health clinics to rural communities in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, was such a rewarding and enriching experience. Throughout our stay in Nicaragua we were all placed in homestays. My host mo was named Jeanine and she as the sweetest, happiest, and hospitable lady—the epitome of Nicaraguan culture.

Three of our days in Nicaragua were spent doing clinics in rural communities. During these clinics we were split into groups of two or three people with one translator. All members of the group would each take turns being responsible for filling out the patient’s medical history chart, asking appropriate questions about the reason for the patient’s visit, and then taking vital signs. Once all three task were completed, one of the two doctors leading the clinics was then called over so that we could present the patients’ medical history and current symptoms. After presenting each case, the doctors would always give us the opportunity to diagnose the patient. Whether our diagnosis were correct or not, the doctors were always extremely encouraging and more than willing to spend time explaining and teaching us things that we did not know.

I loved how hands-on this experience at the clinics was and how much it challenged me to really critically asses each patient symptoms and try to come up with a diagnosis for each patient based on my previous knowledge and experiences. I really loved seeing the way that the doctors interacted with each patients, they were very patient, endearing and so compassionate. I learned a lot from the way they deduced what the patient had, how they prescribed medication, and how to create treatment plans form the patients to follow. Because it was so evident how passionate the doctors were about their jobs and also about teaching us what they knew, I was newly affirmed that I am definitely in the right field and have been motivated to continue pursuing my career of being a Physician Assistant with more drive than ever before.

Karina Handal

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