By Danielle Dimacali
Photo by Manmit Singh
Rather than a typical health clinic with a 15 minute time slot, we went into the community of Manhattan with a doctor and did home visits to contextualize the patient’s health and way of life.
We walked through the dirt roads and knocked on doors only to be graciously welcomed into these patients’ cement homes, and more intimately into these patients’ lives. As we did our interview and nursing assessment and interventions, we were overwhelmed with a sense of community and acceptance as foreigners, even so far as a woman taking a painting she made off her wall and giving it to us.
We continued our day volunteering at the hospital, and noticed the stark differences in resources and supplies. However, the patients and staff were overwhelmingly eager to have us to listen to their story and help in anyway we can whether it be doing a newborn assessment, watching chest tubes be put in after a gun shot wound, or going across the street to fetch an empanada and jugo de naranja and an empanada for a patient.
Although their health infrastructure may be different, we appreciated the beauty in the differences and the resilience of the people.