Thursday, May 16, 2013

Segundo día en clínicas y un día libre

**I edited the previous blog post. I realized that some of the information I provided was not appropriate to share publicly. While I wanted to write in detail in order to remember everything, I need to remember that this is not my personal journal to document everything I have experienced during my time in Mexico.**

Tuesday was very similar to Monday's full day with two clinics following the exact same schedule. The first clinic was slightly slower than the previous day, but the students were still able to participate in patient care. Although the group split up into different departments, they eventually all landed back in the urgent care area where there was more action. There was a first-year medical student in the urgent care area and I was able to ask him some questions about pursuing a medical degree in Mexico. He told me that they attend medical school for five years, during which time they integrate classroom learning with clinical practice at the same time. As a first year student, he was able to already start working in the hospitals and clinics beside experienced physicians, putting what he was learning from books immediately into practice. He actually also spoke English, which he confessed was because he watched television shows, such as Trauma ER, House MD, etc. He said that he first watches them in English with Spanish subtitles and then watches them again without the subtitles. When I commented that his accent was so good, he said that it was because he paid very close attention to how things are said in the shows and imitated the actors' voices. I think I might have to start doing the same in order to practice my Spanish!

I also successfully started my on-a-patient IV in the urgent care with Mary's guidance. While I initially inserted the catheter a little off from the vein, she patiently directed me to switch angles to find it. When I saw the flashback, I felt so relieved - I did it! The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming, and I was so proud of myself. As I watched the other students also successfully start IVs among other skills, I surged with pride for everyone. I felt led to verbally encourage and congratulate them on their accomplishments, and I think I got a taste of what it will hopefully be like to work on a floor with colleagues in a supportive environment. I can't wait until I reach the level of professionalism as a nurse where I am also able to teach and help new nurses like what Mary and the staff nurses at the clinic did for us. 

For lunch, we went to eat at a pizza place called Piacere Italiano, where we ordered four of their specialty, wood-fire-prepared pizzas to share. The server described the size as 30 centimeters in diameter, but considering how 1) we don't use the metric system in the U.S. and 2) I have no depth perception, I couldn't for the life of me imagine what the size truly would be. When they arrived, the pizzas were a little bigger than what I had thought up in my head, but like the loaves and fishes story in the Bible, we ended up having one piece left in the end. The restaurant also had a wide selection of gelato, so we all indulged.  Then it was back to the second clinic about 20 minutes away.

When we arrived, the groups split up once again into dentistry and urgent care / general check-ups and appointments. The dental clinic was busier than the previous day and we were able to see more orthodontia work with retainers and braces on pediatric patients. We were called into the urgent care area to see the doctor attend to a patient who had fallen off his motorcycle and came in with a large gash on his arm. The nurse had to attend to another patient that came in so the doctor requested my assistance. I helped open sterile gauze packaging, apply soap and sterile water to the gauze he used to scrub the patient's arm, and tape the dressing in place. Later, when another patient came in with a possible sprain or fracture of the leg (they couldn't confirm until the next day, when the x-ray department was open), Nanci insisted I assist the doctor in applying the bandage since I said no when she asked if I had ever done it before. With the physician's guidance, I actually was able to wrap the bandage around the patient's leg. He told me how to make a sort of criss-cross action with the application (in Spanish no less!) and how much pressure to put with the bandage. It was such a good learning experience!

I am feeling so blessed to have the opportunity to practice my skills here in Mexico. Everyone in the health care field that I have come in contact with here is so supportive, patient, and helpful with me and the other students. I feel like I am going to return to the U.S. with a better idea of what to expect in my clinicals in the fall and feel more confident in being able to put my skills into practice there. 

After we got back, some of the students came to Mary's and my house to get ready to go out for the night. We wanted to go dancing, but since it was a Tuesday night, nothing was open. We just went to a restaurant and a bar for some drinks and we had a great time talking and getting to know each other better. They all came back to the house with me and spent the night since by the time we got back, none of the buses were running anymore. Hannah and I snuggled up together (but not really) and Katie and Sarah also shared a (twin! haha) bed while Elli M. took the couch. We were totally exhausted after our long day!


Luckily Wednesday was another free day for students, as all Wednesdays will be for the month. It's nice that they (and Mary and I) get a rest in the middle of the week to break it up. All the girls except for Sarah headed back home to shower. They decided that they would return later that day to a downtown coffee shop to work on homework. Sarah, Mary and I got ready at our house for the day and headed out to meet at a cute coffee shop called Express Arte Café. It had free wifi, strong coffee, and delicious breakfasts, which we all took advantage of while there. While the girls stayed there to work on homework, Mary and I headed out to the grocery store in search of more gigantic potable water jugs (called garrafones) for our house and other items. 

After we successfully exchanged our empty jugs for filled ones and bought what we needed, Mary and I took a taxi back to our house. Brenda, an employee of our landlady, was cleaning the house. She helped us figure out how to put the giant garrafones back on the water dispenser stand - we all had a laugh over how ridiculous we must have looked yet how difficult it really was to accomplish! After we unpacked and learned from Brenda where to put our trash on the street to avoid cockroaches (YUCK), Mary and I headed out to meet the realtor, Barry, who found the house for us for lunch in the Plaza de Armas.

He took us to a really nice and quaint café called Breton. It was modern yet simple and had a feel that reminded me of little coffee shops and and restaurants back home. We spent nearly two hours with Barry asking him questions about what it's like to live in Mexico. He is a former lawyer who is from New York that 12 years ago decided to come to Mexico to be a realtor. It was so interesting to hear his take on the safety and security of the Mexican cities and how he lives as a permanent resident. Although he has family back in the states, Barry said he only goes back to the U.S. a couple of times per year. While I think it would be fun and amazing to live here in Querétaro for some time, I know that I would want to eventually return to the U.S. for good. However, it was interesting to hear about his experience and it was obvious that he loved his choice to settle in Mexico. 

Later in the day, one of the former UAQ students that Mary has gotten to know over the years, Montse, came over to our house. We decided to go to a little café by Montse's house for a light snack and/or dessert. They enjoyed chocolate cakes while I opted for the most delicious ham croissant sandwich - it was seriously so good I could hardly handle it. The entire place just smelled like desserts and yummy baked goods anyway that I felt in heaven. Since our wifi at the house hadn't been working, we took advantage of the free wifi while we were eating. I was able to message Husband for a bit, catch up on emails, and help Ryan with some translation for one of his presentations to the university PT students. 

When we got back home, it was pretty cold and we rushed back inside after bidding farewell to Montse and getting out of the car. Mary said that she thought she heard thunder, but I said it was just the car driving away. However, after only a few minutes, it starting raining. I quickly went outside to take my clothes off the line where they were drying, and during this time, it began to rain even harder. I put my clothes away and began to write this post when I noticed that it was raining really hard. Mary and I got up to look outside because she said it was so unusual for this to happen when all of a sudden THE POWER WENT OUT. We screamed! We were NOT expecting that! We quickly grabbed our iPads for some sense of light to try and find candles. Only after a minute or so the lights flickered back on - RELIEF! THANK YOU LORD! We found a candle and matches just in case the power went back out again (it hasn't since...knock on wood...) and then started surveying the house. The walls in the hallway were draining rainwater and the floor was getting wet. Mary's door frame was soaked and water was starting to run into her room. We moved her suitcases that were on the floor to higher ground and then put towels down to in the doorway. 

It has actually rained here for the past few days, actually resulting in cold weather. Mary said that in the two previous years that she's come here it has not even once rained before. When we were at the second clinic yesterday we observed a peregrinación, which is a religious walk that people in a community do to honor a saint and/or for a funeral. The one yesterday was honoring a saint that had something to do with rain and Nanci had explained that the people were praying for rain to come. Well, they have certainly had their prayers answered because it POURED! We'll see if this streak of raining keeps up for the remainder of our time here...

Hasta la próxima vez :)

No comments:

Post a Comment