Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 10

Today we began our day visiting the Santo Tomas Hospital. We spent our time in the maternity center. It is known as the most popular hospital for patients who have no insurance or little money. It was different than the hospitals of the United States in that there were no private rooms. All the patients shared a common area with 50-60 beds per floor. One of the more interesting floors we visited was the high risk pregnancy floor.

The highlight of our day was the labor and delivery experience. We were all fortunate to have been able to see the birth of a child. The hospital was very busy and it was a challenge to get us in but the nurse managed to find a place for us. We all went in groups of about 3-4 students per delivery room. The first two groups of four students witnessed very quick deliveries and the final group had the opportunity to watch a lengthy delivery, placental removal and the suturing of an episiotomy.

In the postpartum period the hospital emphasizes a lot of health education about breast feeding. We passed by a section where mothers are taught to breast feed and care for their newborns. Our maternity clinical day exceeded our expectations because from the beginning of our trip we did not anticipate being able to observe the labor and delivery process.

After the hospital we had lunch and some people did laundry. We then headed to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the City of Knowledge. This agency functions as the disaster relief program for the Americas. PAHO is the regional form of the World Health Organization. We had an interesting presentation which focused on PAHO’s role with hospital disaster management.

The day concluded with a quiet evening spent at our villas.

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