[The medical campaign] essentially reconfirmed my belief that this type of profession is what I need to be in.
The medical campaign was something unexpected. At least for me, when I got to the site, I definitely got the feeling of being overwhelmed before we even started seeing patients. I kept thinking we really didn’t know what we getting into. However, once we started and the first patient came in, all those stressful feelings left. I can’t say it was easy at first but after a few patients, it became more comfortable speaking to all the patients in Spanish. Some of the complaints of their symptoms repetitive because they were so common in the area. Those patients were the easiest to help since I knew specifically the right questions to ask.
The more challenging patients were the young women who had several, varying complaints but were too shy or introverted to actively tell me. I realized with those patients more timid that didn’t want to openly announce their complaints, I needed to get closer, turn my ear to them when they spoke, and speak more softly and calmly to them. My biggest surprise of the campaign was a small boy who instantly appeared like he was suffering. I took his temperature when his mother said he started a fever a few hours ago. It was 37.4 degrees Celsius. I told them to keep him in the shade and give him water until I was done. Afterwards I took his temperature again. It rose to 38.2. I sent them to wait to see the doctor but then the mother called me over to recheck her son after 5 minutes. I retook his temperature a third time; it was a high 38.7 degrees Celsius. I grabbed his mother and him and rushed them straight to one of the doctors. To me, this little boy was a true emergency situation that needed to be attended immediately.
Other families yelled that their complaints were also “emergencies” but it was obvious that they weren’t suffering like that little boy. They simply wanted to be seen faster by the doctor. Overall, the most significant take-away from the campaign was that it was full of moments that essentially reconfirmed my belief that this type of profession is what I need to be in.