Well it went a little something like this…
Day one of clinic!
The real reason why we all came to Haiti finally has arrived. The team was full of nerves and anxious as to what we would be doing today. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but we expected we would have an influx of people waiting by the time we got to clinic. However, when we arrived, it was empty! Very few people were present. We later realized that it was due to the pre-registration cards that had been given out prior to our arrival, so they came at the times of their appointment which helped to control the crowd. The clinic wasn’t set up when we arrived but it did not affect the team morale because we all just worked together to intake the patients while the clinic was being set up.
The first day was a great day!!! We saw about 120 patients today. Saw some really interesting case on the first day. One of the very first patients that was seen was a patient with lymphoma of the face. We did a consult and referred him for a surgical consult when the surgical team comes. Another patient came in with hypothyroidism and infertility. While this is something that is easily treatable in the U.S., it is a lot harder to treat here because there are limited access to resources.
The reactions from today showed that team had a very productive day and the flow of clinic went by very smoothly. The pairings of the team members went well with each pair working well together. Team members loved that they had the chance to get to really know their patients and spend some time with them which gave them more of a chance to give the proper diagnosis and medications.
However, we encountered some issues at the pharmacy. We only had two people at the pharmacy, with one person filling out prescriptions and one other explaining the medications to the patients. Because we only had two people, it was hard to meet the demands of the patients who had been seen and give their medications without causing a backup. With the help of the team leaders, some of the team members left their positions to help out in the pharmacy when the clinic was not as busy. The set up for the pharmacy also caused some confusion because we set up the medications by ailment which complicated the efficiency of the pharmacy flow. But with the help of the medical students, it was easier to get the prescriptions quickly filled.
During the team meeting, discussions were made on how to better improve the pharmacy flow, with the suggestion that more than two people need to be placed in the pharmacy that can dispense and explain the medications to the patients. The team leaders were very grateful for the flexibility and everyone’s willingness to help out regardless of where they were placed to work in as well as the professionalism of the team members.