BSN Dominican Republic Day Three: ¡Empezamos!

Today, we got acquainted with the hospital we will be working with this week. The Hospital San Vicente De Paul provides a wide range of services to the 185,000 people who live in San Francisco de Macoris and the surrounding communities. We all met many passionate, inspirational people who were involved in trying to drive Dominican healthcare foreword.

Emory has particularly strong ties to the maternity unit—Dr. Foster and her past teams have conducted research, implemented various health care initiatives, and donated equipment in this area. We toured the NICU, the perinatal rooms, and the labor and delivery rooms. It was humbling to realize what few resources this hospital works with. We had the benefit of fetal monitors, programmable IV pumps, sterile, disposable equipment, and single-patient rooms during our maternity rotations. The nurses and doctors had none of these things at their disposal. It was incredible to see them do so much with so little.

In the afternoon, we followed up on three community visits conducted last week by Emory’s physical therapy students. The PT students left us very helpful notes on the patients’ chief complaints, interventions they had done, and issues that needed follow up from us. The nursing and PT interventions complemented each other very well. One patient, an elderly man in his 70s, had a history of stroke and was having rigidity and pain in his right knee, which caused him to rely heavily on his left leg to ambulate. The PT students were able to teach him exercises to strengthen his weak leg and to balance his weight in healthy ways. We were able to reinforce the teaching, treat his pain to make the exercises easier, and address other medical issues. Most of us had a tenuous grasp of spoken Spanish, but we were able to get through the visits with one fluent student, one fluent instructor, and some creative hand gesturing.

We concluded the day by going out to celebrate Krystena’s 24th birthday!

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