Team Costa Rica: Clinic Day 1

Feb. 17, 2020

Hola from Costa Rica!!
We got an early start this morning at about 6:30. Breakfast at the hotel was amazing as usual, and then we headed to the clinic site, Tacacori. Our translators met us and helped us set up the clinic site. Our busy morning began just outside the gorgeous coffee plantation with the warm air providing a nice atmosphere for our clinic. We saw 160 patients and gave out glasses to many more. It was an amazing experience to get to help people, practice our Spanish and experience something out of our comfort zones.

We had a traditional lunch of rice and beans with chicken made by some of the local women. Being able to help many people today and see how they live was a wonderful experience. After finishing up around five o’clock, we had a snack of tortillas and cream, again prepared by the local women. We headed back to the hotel for a delicious dinner and some fun. Reflecting on the day, we talked about some of the awesome things we were able to accomplish and finished the night off with some fun games.

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The flow of the day worked phenomenally, and we feel as though we were all provided with an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the world of healthcare and Costa Rican culture in completely new ways.

The patient traffic began at registration, where wristbands were given out, the patients’ personal information was collected and patient height and weight were measured.  Next, the patients awaited their turns to head to the triage station.  Here, their chief complaints were recorded and many forms of information and vitals were assessed.  Following triage, the patients headed over to the providers, where physicians would determine the specific ailment of each patient and determine the next course of action for treatment, including writing prescriptions.  Finally, in the pharmacy and glasses areas, the patients would obtain the necessary tools to better their health or treat their illnesses.  From medications to prescription reading glasses, our team was ensuring that the patients were receiving the best care possible and that they understood how to continue with their treatment.

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Now that we’ve been through a complete day of clinic, we believe that we will be better prepared to handle the tasks to come throughout the next week.   We bonded immensely today through our teamwork and group-oriented mindset, and we are all ecstatic to continue with the healthcare experiences we have in store.  This group is truly one-of-a-kind, and I believe that we will skillfully and collectively triumph over all the challenges that we may face in the next clinics throughout this week.

+ Devin Laye, Student, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
+ Kendall Parsons, Student, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics

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