Wow! I can’t believe that I am now already/only halfway through the primary health care/village medical care course that I am taking! The past 5 days of class have flown by, but it’s amazing how much we have already lePrimary Health Care Wow! I can’t believe that I am now already/only halfway through the primary health care/village medical care course that I am taking! The past 5 days of class have flown by, but it’s amazing how much we have already learned. We have been provided with a great two volume textbook that we can use on the field to not only help diagnose any ailments but also to walk us through the procedures. I wish I had some pictures to share!
I’ve learned how to give injections – subcutaneous, which we injected in the arm; intramuscular, where we used the buttocks; and intradermal. The intradermal injection is typically given to test for TB and is injected right along the surface of the skin, causing a small bubble to form. Yes, we did practice on each other.
We’ve learned how to insert catheters. We used models for this! Catheters can be important for a woman after childbirth who cannot urinate so she does not develop further complications such as fistulas, as well as in other cases.
We also went over stomach tube insertion, and one brave soul in our class volunteered to allow a classmate to practice on him, so we were able to observe and also take turns listening with the stethoscope to verify that it was in. Since a child in extreme heat, considered over 90 degrees F, can become dehydrated in as quickly as 30 minutes when ill it is important to know this practice.
Of course, proper procedure was taught throughout these, such as sterilization of instruments and supplies in a pressure cooker, how to put on sterile gloves, proper hand-washing, etc, and we’ve learned how to give physical exams and check vitals, as well as casting and splinting.
The lectures so far have consisted of sanitation, malnutrition, anemia, worms, malaria, dengue fever, anatomy, case studies, buying and storing medications, bones and joints, and pain management. In upcoming classes we’ll be discussing/having labs in trauma, emergencies, burn care, bites, suturing, newborn care and complications, dental issues, men and women’s health, STDs, HIV/AIDS and TB, and childbirth.
Hopefully, I will be able to update again about the course. There is so much we learned about preventative measures to keep our families healthy that I would love to share! In addition, I agreed to help them demonstrate some prenatal care procedures and checking for fetal heart tones during the childbirth class. Maybe I will be able to share some good pictures next time!
Mical Hilbert and her husband Rob are pre-field missionaries with LBT. They plan to begin serving in Sierra Leone during the summer of 2013. If you’d like to learn more about what they’ve been up to, visit the Range Life blog.