Pharmacy is phun.
Or so I’m trying to convince the Humanity First students. Over the last few days the pharmacy has served not only as a powerhouse of drugs, but also as a staging area for supplies and at times a resting area amidst all the action. The pharmacy sees almost every patient that walks through the doors, and when each of the 400 patients we see a day is receiving an average of 2 to 3 scripts, the pharmacy certainly makes for an exciting (albeit overwhelming) environment.
Fortunately, our workflow has been almost seamless thanks to the never ending energy of the students. From the “runners” who quickly grab the required meds, to the “fillers” who are always on top of creating commonly prescribed pre-packed med bags, all the way back to the “counselors” who instruct the patients on what meds they’re receiving, how to take them, and most importantly - what they’re for.
After four days of continuous drug exposure, I would like to believe that the students will forever know how to appropriately dose amoxicillin, how to reconstitute a suspension, the difference between ranitidine and loratadine and above all, that pharmacy can really be phantastic!
Today, the clinic was full of adorable little children, and even more sick patients than the day before. Around noon, my favorite Guatemalan child walked into the clinic. Hair gelled, starched khakis, orange polo, a navy blue sweater, as soon as he walked in, I knew we had a connection. I spent the entire day chasing this child, taking pictures with him, and even making him cry. Aside from that, we reached a record breaking number of 450 patients today, an accomplishment I’m so incredibly proud of for our Humanity First team.
We saw such a variety of patients today, from a 70 year old man with a one year ulcer on his leg to a six year old Guatemalan dwarf, something Ive never seen before. Today was absolutely amazing. Everyday I wake up thinking that nothing can beat the day before, but everyday, I’m proven wrong.
Tuesday was another great day in clinic. My biggest accomplishment was learning how to take blood pressure. Although I was pretty incompetent at first, Dr. Bokhari took the time to make sure we felt somewhat confident while working with the patients. Besides medicine, I was most excited about coming to a Spanish-speaking country to work on the comprehension and speaking abilities. I was able to counsel some patients on the dosages and directions for the medications they were given and then today, I was able to talk a lot with patients for registration. One of our translators even complimented me on how well I understood everything.
Although I have been in Spanish courses for the past 3 years, it is a completely different experience when working with actual Spanish-speaking patients. This just gave me more motivation to become a physician as well as utilizing my Spanish degree by helping in a Spanish-speaking community in the future.