Sunday, January 05, 2014

Amanda Journal #5

all the small things

I’ve been here for three months. It’s been a big three months. But today I want to think about all the small things. These are the simple, important, amazing things that together have made this experience so big for me.

Organizing patient files and learning the importance ofdecent, legible handwriting. It really is important to the time to write a person's name and their history so that the next person who touches the file can understand what happened... I know it's kind of a long-standing joke that people who work in healthcare have really bad handwriting, but seriously folks, decent handwriting really goes a long way.

Handwashing. I spent a day teaching all the kids (and their parents) who came through the clinic how to properly wash their hands and the importance of handwashing. These big bottles of hand sanitizer were purchased through a very generous donation and distributed throughout the hospital. The hospital staff was so grateful – There are few places in the hospital to wash your hands and the running water doesn’t always work. This donation was so important to the hospital!

in the pediatric ward

in the maternity ward

in the dengue clinic

Weighing and measuring with accuracy. This is one of those things that I do over and over and over again all day at the hospital. Weigh and measure kiddos. But these numbers are what help the docs determine if kids are healthy, if something is not right, how much medication to prescribe… height, weight, temperature, head circumference, these are important numbers that have to be accurate.

Cleaning supplies. These were another donation that has made a big deal. When I got here we were running out a of this. Thanks to this donation, we have not had to spend money (that is not so easy to obtain) to purchase more cleaning supplies, and there will still be some here to use for a few months after I leave.

All the little touches. A cover for the baby scale. A bookshelf to hold books and informational pamphlets for families to read while they wait to see the doctor (and, as I’ve said before, they wait hours and hours). These are the things that seem small, but a lot of work and love and kindness of friends and strangers went into making them available for this clinic.

I am so thankful for the small things.