In triage, I take vitals (blood pressure, pulse, respirations, blood glucose if diabetic, and temperature if sick), give everyone who is not pregnant or breastfeeding and over 40 lbs an antiparasitic and take a basic patient history so that the doctors can be as efficient as possible with their time. I also try to weed out those who do not need to see a doctor and just want vitamins and Tylenol if we have it. At the end of the day we usually have a long line that we have to turn away, so we work hard each day to make our process more time efficient without sacrificing the level of care provided to each patient. Usually, I am working with a local translator, although my Spanish is greatly improving! On Thursday, I treated five people on my own while the translator was on his lunch break. Luckily, all had “gripe” (flu), “un dolor de cabeza” (headache), or “un dolor de garganta” (sore throat)… All words that I have picked up!
Photos taken by David Brotzman
This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Cross Cultural Community Service Grant.