Friday, February 26, 2010

Clinic day 3: NGO speed

After an expected slow Thursday in clinic, we had an unexpectedly slow day today--and I realized that we've hit third world NGO speed, which is somewhere between first gear and neutral. There are plenty of needs and people to help WHY AREN'T THEY SHOWING UP IN MY CLINIC TODAY!!!

The morning wasn't so bad. I saw 27, we saw 40 total. Not a bad morning with 2 docs. The afternoon we had 3 docs total, and probably saw only 20 patients. A little confusing--where da patients at? So I decided we needed some signage and created a committee consisting of me to make a sign for the clinic. It is pathetic how hard this was. I mean, it's just a sign. Not a billboard. It ain't got no neon lights, Lt. Dan. Just a little sign with an arrow. That, my boy, will bring us the shrimp! Our clinic is in a church, down the street from the main road/highway 2. I surveyed the main road--tons of traffic. It was a mess, actually. I was almost run over like 4 times, once by an old lady with a cane. Lorenz in the headlights for sure. Anyways, it's not like there's an office depot down the street with fingerpaint for me. So I'm basically going through rubble and trash to create a sign. I settled on cardboard from some of the medicine boxes, and used a sharpie to write KLINIC GRATIS in Creole. I slapped that badboy up on this utility pole on the busy street, quite proud of my little sub-kindergarten level art creation. After I put the sign up, we had 2 people come in. I wanted to give her a little survey "How did you hear about us," and would have paid her if she checked the "I saw your sweet sign at the road" box, but I refrained. Turns out one of the ladys was there for church, not even the clinic, and they other lady didn't come in for the sign. Just depressing. So I gave $20 to this "artist" friend of the pastor, who we then commissioned to make the sign. We'll see if I just kissed that twenty goodbye or not. You watch, when that sign gets up, we will have established the next Haitian healthcare conglomerate! A couple more patients would be fine, too.

John, the other doc, suggested paying a taxi (tap tap) and doing a mobile clinic if it gets slow again. You know what I want? A backpack and a motorcycle. But there are more important things to be done. We need to get a better established referral system. Many come in with basic stuff I can do little about--pregnancy, glasses, TB, HIV, outpatient surgery (hernia, gallbladder)--and I refer them to "the stadium" which is down the street, but I don't know that anything happens. I've heard the Canadian hospital is packing up their bags and going home. We need some recon to establish some reliable referrals. And we need the end-all sign. And there is a clinic at this mormon church by the stadium that is closing, we need to get their meds and supplies so they don't go to waste. The medical motorcycle dream dies another day...

GERD/Heartburn (7)
Vaginitis (4)
Headache (3)
High Blood Pressure (3)
Wound Care (3)
Dry eyes (3)
Myopia (2) Need glasses
Ringworm/fungal infection (3)
Chronic abdominal pain
Urine infection (2)
Cold (2)
Dysentery (2)

I've had a couple of dudes coming in with bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. I treated them for dysentery, although can't be sure that's it. Also, a 20 year old girl with a year of enlarging lymph nodes on her neck. They were rubbery, she didn't have any other "B symptoms" like night sweats, weight loss, etc. I don't know what she has, but referred her for an HIV test to the stadium.

Can't wait for the sign to be finished tomorrow...

1 comment:

Carol said...

Doctor following your experiences via your blog. So glad you arrived safely and are able to attend to the ills of these poor souls. Hope I will be fortunate enough to work with you again when you return...don't be a stranger to PDH.