Archive for St. Thomas

We’re on island time now…

We have been busy since Christina’s last update.  The group has been at the East End Medical Center- collecting ambulatory care surveys, observing through put, creating educational materials, organizing charts, and shadowing providers.  Everyone has pitched in to get our quality improvement data in and we are now working on the results and projects that we will present to the Leadership team at the health center.  We are also preparing to assist with a health screening this week!

Mackenzie helps organize and pull charts.

Mackenzie helps organize and pull charts.

Mary Macon helps organize and pull charts.

Mary Macon helps organize and pull charts.

Annie and Kelly work on a bulletin board- just one of our many educational projects for this trip.

Annie and Kelly work on a bulletin board- just one of our many educational projects for this trip.

We have interviewed and surveyed locals here in St. Thomas for our quality improvement projects.  However, we have also had the opportunity to talk with some providers to get more information about what it means to provide health care to St. Thomians.  Tuesday, we had the opportunity to meet with the Dr. Hughes, the Radiation Oncologist here on the island.  He and his physicist, Damien explained not only what they do but why they choose to do it here.  Hearing these men speak gave new meaning to what we want to accomplish here.  The medicine that they practice is awe-inspiring, but their reasons are what motivates me to follow my passion for patient care.

Entering the treatment area.

Entering the treatment area.

Damien explains how the radiation is delivered.

Damien explains how the radiation is delivered.

One final picture of our group with Dr. Hughes and Damien.

One final picture of our group with Dr. Hughes and Damien.

St. Thomas: Photo recap of our first week!

 

Greetings from beautiful St. Thomas! Where do I even begin? We have so much to share from the past 7 days, so we decided to do a photo blog so you could experience it with us!

As Holly mentioned in her previous post, the eight of us were split up for the first week (1/2 with Dr. Barzey, 1/2 at the FQHC). The lovely staff at the FQHC welcomed us with a sweet sign 🙂 Annie, Rachel, Eyelle, and Kelly have been working hard to distribute ambulatory care surveys, creating educational materials for patients, shadowing the providers, and making the health center more patient friendly.

Rachel, Eyelle, Annie  & Kelly at the FQHC

Rachel, Eyelle, Annie & Kelly at the FQHC

The other group worked with Dr. Barzey (the only endocrinologist on the island)  to create a comprehensive booklet on diabetes education that she can give to her patients. We also had the chance to go out into the community and survey the locals about their nutrition and exercise choices.

Mackenzie, Christina, Mary Macon, & Holly getting some cultural education from Dr. Barzey

Mackenzie, Christina, Mary Macon, & Holly getting some cultural education from Dr. Barzey

Speaking of food choices, the most popular fruit on the island are mangos! They are sold on almost every street corner, and are some of the most delicious mangos we have ever tasted!

A local fruit stand in downtown St. Thomas

A local fruit stand in downtown St. Thomas

If you don’t believe me, ask Eyelle!

Eyelle enjoying a mango!

Eyelle enjoying a mango!

Both groups worked dilligently all week to meet their goals and deadlines. We have learned so much about the culture here on the island. It is amazing how differently islanders live, and how much they appreciate the small things that we often take for granted.

The most frequent mode of transportation on the island: The "Safari" serves as a taxi to the locals. Usually less than $5 per ride!

The most frequent mode of transportation on the island: The “Safari” serves as a taxi to the locals. Usually less than $5 per ride, and can fit up to 18 people!

At the end of a long week, Dr. Wright invited us to have dinner at her and her husband’s beautiful ocean side home in St. Thomas.

The girls with Dr. Wright and her husband Chip.

The girls with Dr. Wright and her husband Chip.

Did we mention the view from Dr. Wright's front deck? (#nofilter)

Did we mention the view from Dr. Wright’s front deck? (#nofilter) p.s. that is St. John in the distance

Before we knew it, the weekend was here! We took a ferry (only $6, 10 mins) to the gorgeous island of St. John to enjoy our weekend off! Here are some pics of our trip:

St. John

Welcome to St. John!

The girls enjoying the view of Trunk Bay- one of the beautiful beaches in St. John

The girls enjoying the view of Trunk Bay- one of the beautiful beaches in St. John

A traditional dish of the island: curry chicken, yellow rice, boiled sweet potatoes, and veggies

A traditional dish of the island: curry chicken, yellow rice, boiled sweet potatoes, and veggies

The girls showing off their “Caribbean Hook Bracelets”

"Caribbean Hook Bracelets have been worn for centuries by islanders in the Caribbean, serves as "island time" to be a popular symbol of unity and love. The open end of the hook pointed up toward the heart means your love is take, the open end of the hook worn down away from the heart, means your love is free (unattached or single)"

“Caribbean Hook Bracelets have been worn for centuries by islanders in the Caribbean, serves as “island time” to be a popular symbol of unity and love. The open end of the hook pointed up toward the heart means your love is take, the open end of the hook worn down away from the heart, means your love is free (unattached or single)”

 

We had an amazing time in St. John and were sad to leave 🙁 But also excited to start another week, and this time, all eight of us were reunited at the FQHC!

Annie pausing for a smile while preparing her ambulatory care surveys!

Annie pausing for a smile while preparing her ambulatory care surveys!

Mackenzie and Christina going over some important details for their clinical day

Mackenzie and Christina going over some important details for their clinical day

Rachel and Dr. Wright at the FQHC

Rachel and Dr. Wright at the FQHC

We’ve had an incredible week so far here in the Virgin Islands, and look forward to this week’s adventures!

Nursing love,

Christina

 

 

 

 

 

The ABSNs have arrived in St. Thomas!

Leave Atlanta at 2:30PM; arrive in St. Thomas at 9:15PM.  That was the plan, anyway.  After sitting at the gate (on the plane) for over an hour and a half, the plane’s radio was repaired and we were ready!  Just after the announcement to “prepare for takeoff,” we were informed that the radio was broken (again!) and we would be leaving the next morning.  After riding on the Miami airport train to two different customer service desks and waiting an additional 2 hours, we received hotel and meal vouchers. We stayed in Miami overnight and departed the next day for St. Thomas.  More quality time with my classmates!

Waiting for hotel vouchers in the Miami airport. Kelly Jones, Mary Macon Price, Rachel Koontz, Holly Smith, Christina Winters

Waiting for hotel vouchers in the Miami airport. Kelly Jones, Mary Macon Price, Rachel Koontz, Holly Smith, Christina Winters

It was all worth it when we arrived at St. Thomas and were met with breath taking views, cool breezes,  and an afternoon at the beach!

Arrived in St. Thomas to meet our immersion faculty. Dr. Phyllis Wright, Annie Rowland, Mackenzie Mancini, Mary Macon Price, Holly Smith, Rachel Koontz, Kelly Jones, Christina Winters, Eyelle Sacher

Arrived in St. Thomas to meet our immersion faculty. Dr. Phyllis Wright, Annie Rowland, Mackenzie Mancini, Mary Macon Price, Holly Smith, Rachel Koontz, Kelly Jones, Christina Winters, Eyelle Sacher

As with most places, there is a big difference in the tourist area and what the locals call home.  For the first week of this experience, one group will be working with the Federally Qualified Health Center.  They have been shadowing providers and seeing patients along with developing a patient satisfaction survey.  My group has been tasked with working on educational materials for the only endocrinologist on the island, Dr. Barzey.  She is a passionate clinician who has taught us so much about island culture and the unique challenges she faces as a provider here.  She took us to local restaurants and food trucks as we survey the locals and observe what they eat and how they perceive their own health.  We are on a mission to develop quality, culturally relevant information about nutrition and activity to help fight the obesity on St. Thomas.

Menu at one of the local "food vans"

Menu at one of the local “food vans”

Dr. Barzey talks to the vendor while Mackenzie Mancini and Mary Macon Price have a taste of local drinks- a combination of fruit juice and spices that the St. Thomians drink like soda.

Dr. Barzey talks to the vendor while Mackenzie Mancini and Mary Macon Price have a taste of local drinks- a combination of fruit juice and spices that the St. Thomians drink like soda.

Christina Winters helps Dr. Barzey take photos for her educational materials and website.

Christina Winters helps Dr. Barzey take photos for her educational materials and website.

Christina and I look forward to blogging more about our experiences with Dr. Barzey and the FQHC as we learn more about the culture here and how to help these clinics improve the quality of patient care.

St. Thomas here we come!

 

Hello!

Since I am new to the blogging world, I wanted to post a little “test blog!” Our group will be heading to the beautiful island of St. Thomas tomorrow afternoon, and we are beyond thrilled! I look forward to sharing our adventures with you all 🙂

Best,

Christina

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