During a recent trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, I have been overwhelmed with the contrast in cultures; however, the most heartbreaking difference of all has been my experience in the local clinic. I am a nurse currently working at Toledo Hospital and have spent the last two days in the small corridors of what we know as the typical doctor's office. The doctor at the clinic is employed by the government and works there Monday through Friday from 7a.m.–1 p.m. On his staff is one nurse, one pharmacist, and a guard at the front door. He sees about 28 patients per day and helps to cure a variety of illnesses, from a mild rash to broken fingers.
What has struck me the most is the lack of resources within the clinic. It's easy for us to understand that not every country can be as advanced in healthcare as the United States because we have an endless supply of medicines, gauze, surgical tools, hand sanitizer, gloves, syringes, etc. But in this clinic, the nurse creatively uses what she has at hand to maintain quality and safe care. She uses an empty medicine bottle to put cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide inside for alcohol swabs, something that in the United States comes individually wrapped for a one time use. She also opens sterile packages to use bits and pieces of what's inside on multiple patients, a practice that is never even heard of in the states. My eyes have been opened to what is happening in cultures around me and I am driven to do everything in my power to help bring the necessary supplies to the clinic.
Progress and payoff on the swing set...