Today we spent our second day within the Huilloc community. After setting up the clinic yesterday, we were prepared for our first day of providing medical and dental care. With over 200 families in the Huilloc community, we were able to register and serve 97 patients today.
After three days of clinic in Cusco, our group was prepared to begin in Huilloc. Each student was assigned to a position similar to our clinic in Cusco. Again, these stations ranged from dental assistance, dental education, sterilization, providing fluoride, shadowing the medical professionals, working in pharmacy, registering patients, assisting in dental triage, and taking vital signs. Each student is assigned to two of these opportunities each day. After gathering as a group during our time in Cusco, we were able to collaborate about what worked well and what did not. This helped provide our group with insight about how to work efficiently and respectfully with all patients.
Today, all 97 patients registered, got their vital signs recorded, and participated in dental triage to determine the degree of dental treatment needed. Through these processes, our group was immersed in the language of this community: Quechua. It was enjoyable to learn some of the new words of this language such as Allillanchu Kasanki (hello) and Surpai (thank you). With the help of our wonderful interpreters, we were able to create a trusting relationship with our patients even though the translations were difficult at times.
At our clinic in Huilloc, we are lucky to have the assistance of Wayne and Roberto from the organization Health Bridges International. It has been wonderful to see how Doug, Diane, Wayne, and Roberto have a certain way of providing care and how they work together to serve our patients in a dignified manner.
In the dental clinic we were assisted by a local dentist, so we had one extra professional who was able to provide quality care in addition to Dan, Eric, and Becky. This allowed us to serve more patients than we did in Cusco. During the medical and dental clinics, we also got to serve adults as well as children. This was a new experience compared to Cusco, where we solely focused on providing care for children.
After the clinic today, some students went biking from an area above the Huilloc community in the Andes Mountains back to our hotel. The rest of our group finished working with patients and prepared for our day back at the clinic tomorrow.
Back at the hotel, our whole group wrapped up the day with a meeting in order to discuss logistics and our ideas for helping with community health in Huilloc as well as Cusco. We came up with a few ideas for how to give back to the communities that have welcomed us and provided us with wonderful hospitality.
Steven and Amy