Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Setting Up the Doctor's Office

 Monday morning Dr. Jim started by collecting the baby scale and other necessaries.  A few babies come in with their parents and get weighed.  It also works great for the smaller children if they sit on it and lift up their legs.

Once all is gathered, the medical team sets up shop in a corner of the cafeteria with supplies Jim brought from the States.

Sarah and Elizabeth receive lists of children to see.  A child can request to be on the list or his or her parents or teacher can also request that they be seen.  Sometimes the requestor will fill out the "reason" slot on the form with a description of what's wrong.  Sometimes they will just say "general".  When that happens, the challenge is to figure out why the child is on the list!

The other challenge is figuring out where the children are.  The grading system is different here - Infant I and Infant II are first and second grades, Standard I up to Standard VI are 3rd through 8th grades.  The children are in whichever grade makes sense for their current level of knowledge, so there is a much wider age range in each classroom, thus you can't guess which grade by looking at the children.  The teachers sometimes step out for a minute or two, trusting that the children will behave while they run to the restroom or do some other errand.  There are several classrooms for most of the grade levels and the rooms are not necessarily marked.  In short, finding the correct classroom for each child is not easy!  Fortunately everyone is willing to help you find your way and all children are found eventually.  Below Elizabeth and Sarah attempt to collect students from Infant I and discover they are in the preschool.  No worries they got their directions and moved on.

Next Sarah and Elizabeth interview the children one, two or three at a time. They ask them to describe their complaint, how long they've had it and what their symptoms are.  If there is time, they also ask them about their families and home life.  Sometimes knowing a little more about home helps in making a diagnosis.

At last, the students being to see Dr. Jim.  He looks them over, checks their general health and their complaint(s) and makes a diagnosis.  If they need medication, he asks them to bring a parent after school so he can get permission to administer and explain how to properly take the medicine and for how long.

Sometimes the diagnosis is hunger or abuse.  In the background, you can see a visiting social worker from the States and one of her students meeting with another student.  More on them in a future blog.

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