29 Junio 2017

For our very last clinical day here in Chitré, we visited Escuela Los Remedios in Ocú, a small town approximately an hour away from Chitré. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the students lined up to greet us with a sweet song. We were surprised to find a small school with only 10 students. However, we could see so much dedication and love from the teachers. Next to the classroom and lunch area, they have a beautiful organic garden that grows everything from tomatoes to papayas, peppers, corn, carrots, cucumbers, and squash to feed the students. According to the teachers, there are only 30 homes in this community, and this can be seen in the eco-map next to the front door of the school. This drawn map shows every home in the area, as well as the school and church. On top of this, the school has won a national contest for best school two years in a row. This school proves that, no matter how small it may be, it can succeed with hard work and determination.

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Each of the three clinical groups prepared and presented a brief lesson about the importance of hand washing, oral hygiene, and nutrition. The groups sang songs, gave out small gifts, and colored with the students during these lessons. The students were attentive and excited to have us at their school. The teacher had told us that despite their school’s small size, their hearts were large. We found that to be extraordinarily true!

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As we returned to the hotel to pack and prepare to leave Chitré tomorrow, the bitter-sweetness of this day really sunk in. We may be leaving tomorrow, but we will carry the many learning experiences and connections we have made with us always. We are truly grateful to everyone who had a hand in this unforgettable opportunity!

 

-Julie de Leon and Jessica Korray

20 Junio 2017: Chitré

For our second clinical day, we drove to Rincón, a small town outside of Chitré to meet with University of Panama nursing students and visit homes in the community. These nursing students have been assigned to a family for the semester, and it was their last visit. We learned about each students’ case study regarding the family they were assigned to; it included a nursing care plan consisting of an assessment, nursing diagnosis, and interventions. We accompanied them to the homes and had the opportunity to observe the close bond these students had with the families. The Panamanian students gave them gifts as did we. When we parted ways there were many hugs and the families thanked them for all that they have done for them and their community. A couple of our Bull Nurses even received food as a thank you! It was a privilege to work alongside the Panamanian students and witness such an important aspect of health care as well as be welcomed into the homes of the Panamanian people.

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After a delicious lunch, we visited a primary school to help give immunizations to children ages one through four who are part of a program for children at risk in the community. Several children were able to receive vaccinations today, and several Bull Nurses were able to work on both their clinical and interpersonal skills. We interacted with other students in the school by playing ball, other games, and having conversations. The children stole our hearts!

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Afterwards, we visited a local artisan shop and enjoyed browsing, purchasing, and supporting the local artists. Experiencing another layer of the culture in Chitré was a great way to end our second day of clinicals!

 

– Julie de León and Jessica Korray