Haley: Internship update

October 28, 2010

Today I wake up and at this point have realized that sweating is just something I have to get used to… sleeping you sweat, brushing your teeth you sweat, eating a banana you sweat, typing as I write this blog I sweat… wew it is HOT! So blah, I walk to work and as I walk I also realize that for some reason, kids are taught to say “How are you!” when they see a white person. So along with being called a mazungu, I get bombarded with “How-are-you’s” on my walk to and from work. yeahhhh I attempted to talked back ONCE with a “I’m doing well, how are you?” Talk about a deer-in headlights look. When you respond they either look like they’re thinking “OH-Sh#@… she responded!” or they just laugh at you and follow. Soooo now I just respond in a different language and miraculously they lose interest in me.

So today at the hospital…. I get there on-time and waited… OH hold on I waited some more….  So I walk over to the office next door because the woman in that office just arrived (the same woman I did the Mwangalizi project with). So within minutes she had me follow her and I ended up talking to a large group of people who were helping out with the HIV group for children and we talked for about 30 minutes. They were FULL of questions about the United States and were curious about the status of HIV there. It was really great being able to talk to people who WANT to educate their community about such a serious virus.

Finally, my advisor woman arrives and just kind of looks at me like “Oh… you’re here?” She semi-explained my duties for the day that I was confused about (yet again), so naturally I go to the office next door and clear things up. Today I get to experience the different offices of the peads section of the hospital! I went through registration, where they register children who are considered “exposed” to HIV because their mom’s are possitive but the child’s status still remains unknown, and then there are the children who are HIV+ themselves. Then I went to the Triage department where they take the temperature and ask what is wrong essentially, and we also have to ask the moms if they knew they were HIV+ before or after they gave birth.

The next department I shadowed was the Nutrition department and we measured and weighed the children to check weather the child rests in an average zone on the z-score chart (AH-HAH!!!! I’ve FINALLY applied a math course above algebra to my job!!… and yes, I did a little freak out moment of joy when he talked Standard Deviations). This one boy came in with the LONGEST arms and legs. He was a little over two years old and unable to walk on his own: his mother couldn’t afford to feed him enough causing him to be malnursiehd giving him no strength to walk. So the Hospital provides them with ‘plumpy nut’ (peanut butter) to help. I moved from Nutrition to the Clinic where the people in there were essentially Physicians Assistants, they just altered the medications for the children based on the symptoms and reactions which turns into a trial and error procedure. The last Department I went in to observe was the Pharmacy and what an amazing way to end the day… it was FREEZING in there!

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