Monday, February 8, 2010

Day One PGH

This morning we woke up just as the Super Bowl pregame was beginning.  We we all a little nervous for our first day - especially those of us who have been on vacation for a while.......  We headed over to University of Philippines as a group and met with the Dean of students.  Then began a long, drawn out application process that took over 3 hours!  We filled out forms, had to go get new pictures taken, had to go get our passports, had to wait around again....and  on and on.
Then we got our first glimpse of our rotation sites.  Let me tell you, HIPAA does not exist in this country.  Neither does free ER care, gloves, machines, curtains or private rooms.  The ER is open air, yet the smell of urine, blood, sweat, infection and feces manages to linger in the air.  We met some nice senior residents, interns (5th year med students) and clerks (4th year med students) - although it will take a while to get to know their names.  They speak English very well and will be able to help us with translation.  It was their first day too so we won't be too far behind.
We will be working 8 hour shifts, I think.  It may change.  It sounds like we can kinda set our schedule and make it what we want.  We will also probably get to do a lot of procedures - phlebotomy, intubation, suturing and it should be interesting.
Patients here have to pay UP FRONT.  There is a "menu" of how much it costs for certain things, including drugs.  It costs P 2100 ~ about $50 per day for a room.  With the cost of living here that is an exhorbitant amount.  (Most people make between P200 and P300 per day - only about $6).  We will also be restricted in the drugs and machines we can use for patients based on what they can pay.
We passed the anti-rabies unit on our way to noon conference (same as in the US).  We got a free meal, which was delicious and proudly presented by 2 drug companies.  We also heard 2 case presentations that kind of jogged our memory about what medicine is all about.  I think this month is going to be a great experience.
The other girls had good days too - I realize my blog is being read by all the girls' families so I'll try include their activities too. (Hi to all the moms! We LOVE to read your comments!)
The OB/Gyn floor is also open air with no curtains.  We're not sure if people actually deliver there or if they go to a different room but they labor in the general room along with all the Gyn surgical patients.  The Family Medicine gets to start at 9am (all the rest start at 7) and we're not sure what that all includes.

After we left around 2PM we still had some things to finish up, like getting pictures and a badge for the campus.  Heather, Shannon and I (amazingly, Abigail is the simplest of the names for the Filipinos to pronounce!!! We now have "Heater" and "Shan-shan-shon-shon-........"!) broke the ice for everyone else and waited over 1 hour to accomplish the whole badge thing - too complicated.  We rewarded ourselves with some smoothies at the mall.  We finished the day with pizza on the roof with the rest of the group.  Tomorrow the real work begins.....

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ladies,
    It sounds like you are having a fabulous time! I LOVE reading about all of your adventures and am wishing that I was there with you. We all miss you in Wisconsin but, seeing as how we are supposed to get around a foot of snow in the next day or two, I think I would rather be there!
    I hope you continue to have amazing experiences and I can't wait to see you in a few weeks. Good luck tomorrow in the hospital. You will all do great and I know your hard work is appreciated.


    PS Lady Gaga....really???