Osteopathic medical student Brian Sullivan was a member of Des Moines University’s largest and most interprofessional global health service team to date: More than 35 individuals – including students from five DMU programs and Drake University’s pharmacy program as well as faculty, clinicians and a social worker – spent March 16-24 providing health care, education and information to hundreds of under-served people in Honduras. It was DMU’s second service trip to the Central American nation, organized in partnership with Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization.
The first day of clinic was exciting! We took a two hour bus ride to the village El Chichicaste in the state El Paraiso. There we set up our clinic at the local school. This school would be our clinic for the next four days. The court yard had beautiful, colorful trees and a concrete soccer field. We set up a triage, consultation, lab, pharmacy, dental station, gynecological station, data entry, and charla areas in different classrooms. The patients were lined up and ready to see us when the buses arrived.
The first place patients would go is to triage. This was where their vitals and chief complaints were obtained. The patients then went on to see the physician in the consultation room. A student and translator were with each physician. If it was necessary, the patient would be sent to the lab or gynaecology station for further evaluation. After seeing the physician the patients made their way to the adult charla. Charla was a “chat” with the patients about hygiene and using medication. The adult charla is run by community leaders. The kid’s charla was a successful student collaboration that taught techniques for brushing teeth and washing hands. We also played games with the kids. After charla, patients received their medication and would be finished at our clinic.
The dental area was separately run by a health university from San Antonio, Texas. The pharmacy was also separately run by Drake University. The teamwork was incredible and very efficient.