Monday, June 30, 2008

Busy month

So I've resorted to becoming a once-a-month blogger. I am resolved to blog more than that but sometimes my life doesn't seem interesting enough to write about. My two weeks in South Georgia were amazing. We provided care to both the migrant farm workers and their children. Overall I think we ended up seeing 500-600 people which is no small feat. Our mornings consisted of screenings for the children at school -- ages from 3-15. We got them ready for school (GA requires certain paperwork in order for kids to be able to start school.) I helped to screen hearing, vision, blood glucose, height & weight, and hemoglobin. I can't imagine how scary it must be for the littlest of the group -- the 3 & 4 year olds -- who speak Spanish, go to a strange place (school) with teachers who speak English. It was actually quite cute though because we got a system down by the end of our time there. I had kids who remembered my name and waved hello to me after they had finished up with us. It was cute. The kids were by far my favorite part.

In the evenings, we setup camp at different farm sites each night. The farm workers came in from the fields around dusk and we began seeing patients. It was hot and muggy, lots of gnats and other bugs, but they waited patiently to be seen. I worked a lot with intake -- doing intake independently in Spanish. My Spanish has improved exponentially and I had a long conversation with a young farm worker about his life. One patient in particular had a badly infected finger that was swollen grotesquely to mid-forearm and streaked up way past the elbow. He was beyond our capacity and our clinic liaison drove him to the ER. Although we got to him in time before he went septic, they weren't able to save the finger. We are able to provide care and also refer patients to the local clinic that could handle things beyond our scope. The local clinic is awesome. We worked as an extension of them and really enable them to reach a large number of people. They also provide continuity of care by following up with those who need it. They will pick up migrant workers to bring them to the clinic, take them to the hospital if necessary, help find funding for care (like in the situation of the man who had to have his finger amputated), provide other services and are source for community referrals, etc.
While in South GA, we also had the opportunity to pick in the fields. Pictured above is a zucchini squash field where I picked.

Once I back in the ATL, I immediately began my new job. It's at a non-Em0ry hospital (imagine that!) and I'm very excited about working there. Last week was mainly hospital orientation, boring HR/administrative stuff, computer class, and unit orientation. Today will be my first night shift on the unit. Although I'm still in orientation, we'll actually be providing patient care! I'm working as a tech on a postpartum floor in one of the busiest hospitals in the area. So far my experience has been positive. My orienter introduced me to everyone we met. I will be in orientation for the next 3 weeks. After that, I go to my home floor and work my shift independently. After a two month job search, I'm happily settled in at my new job. I will stay on even into the school year and perhaps even work as an RN after I pass my NCLEX.

Also coming up -- ATL Pride is this weekend. Not sure what I'm going to do but I know I want to check some of it out. I've never been to pride (here or anywhere) and everyone says it's so much fun. I have to work this weekend so I'm not sure what I will be up for. That's all I've got so far. Wish me luck on my first night shift.