Wednesday, January 13, 2016
And of course: there is the clinic...where I am working for the next year!!! Orientation started Monday and I have to admit: I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I expected this but honestly, expecting something DOES NOT make it easier when you deal with it. Yesterday was my second day and once again I felt: OVERWHELMED. Today was my third day and now I can say...it will be an adjustment, but I think I can do this.
The language is my biggest pitfall. I just don't speak well enough and most especially I don't comprehend well enough to really function at the level I would prefer. But the nurses and doctors and other staff at the clinic are SO NICE and patient that I think it will be okay. They tell me, "poco a poco" or "little by little" I will get it. They are so patient and thankfully have trained a new nurse in their clinic every year for the past however many years, so they know more than I how it will go.
Also it is overwhelming to be told in two hours all the things that are expected of you in the course of a year. In addition to working in the clinic and dealing with the daily flow, I'm also responsible for all the kids' vaccinations, health inspections of all the houses, monthly health presentations (in Spanish!) to staff and kids, and I will fill in for the clinic nurses during their vacations. Right now I am working 8-5 but come spring I will be working 24 hour shifts, staying overnight in the clinic to care for any night problems. This also includes preparing and administering medication four times a day to over 200 kids. I'll also be accompanying kids to their specialist appointments in Guatemala City, Antigua and Chimeltenango. So yeah, I better learn Spanish PRONTO!
The clinic itself is lovely. There are two doctors, three nurses, and three students who work there (not all at the same time). There is an electronic medical record and small pharmacy. There are also dentists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists who work out of the same building. The psychologists are all on the other side, with their own entrance. The kids are seen yearly for a wellness check unless they have a chronic illness or special needs. They are also checked whenever they go somewhere for an extended visit. There are observation rooms and isolation rooms. If a child comes back from a low-lying area with malaria or dengue, we quarantine them so that they won't be bitten by mosquitoes and pass the disease on.
All in all, I'm excited! I think, even if I'm not perfect, it's going to be an awesome year. And I'm learning Spanish...poco a poco!