The second day of the medical clinic is always one of the more exciting days on the Global Medical Brigade Trips. That is because this is the day we get to implement all the changes we settled upon during our reflection following the first day. I am astonished time and time again at how much smoother things are able to run after only a single day’s experience and some creative problem solving. Even this year, which was unique to other years because of how many of our supplies were confiscated upon entering Nicaragua, I was amazed at how people could work so cohesively under less than ideal conditions.
This year I got to experience the pharmacy station for the first time. That means organizing and preparing patient-specific medication packages that we can give out after the patients have consulted with the physicians. There, in a small, dimly lit, bat infested room I witnessed a well-oiled machine consisting of myself, two other brigaders, and one Global Brigades employee churn out medications faster than the prescriptions could come in. I left that station that day with a well-rounded Spanish vocabulary consisting solely of medication names, and a newfound respect for the kind of organization that goes in to keeping these clinics running smoothly.
Looking back on it now, I’m fascinated that this group, with such a large amount of first timers, and in such an unlikely location, was able to run a medical clinic so smoothly. We saw around 200 patients every day, using only one tiny building with five tinier rooms. And even though we may have had to share stethoscopes and constantly avoid heatstroke, I left each day feeling that we had helped.
-Cameron Smith, Brigader