Monday, May 3, 2010

Dos dias largos en el hospital...

We did it! Two eleven-hour days in the hospital but the days remarkably went by quickly. The posters, our presence in the community, word-of-mouth brought patients to the hospital. There was a steady stream of people who would show up to fill the spaces left by those who did not show up for their appointments. Glades, our host administrator, was the contact person for scheduling. This system has worked well in the past, primarily to ensure access and control waiting times.

We saw new and returning patients and was very pleased that several of the patients in the past showed remarkable improvement. One of which was Nico L. who Sam and Crystal treated last year. He was a class 4 periodontal client, with class 3 mobility, and bluish red gingival tissues. This time he presented with pink and resilient tissues, shallower pocket depths, less mobility, and most importantly a great understanding of his oral health. Unfortunately, he lost two of his fingers on his right hand recently from a terrible accident. The lack of mobility of the remaining fingers is affecting his dexterity and he is having to re-learn how to brush his teeth, eat, and do things with his left hand. (see pic with him and his family below). His children, Melina and Angel did not have visible decay. It feels good that the field school's objectives may be partly responsible for this family's positive results.

Although a satisfying day overall, the students quickly realized where their instrumentation skill levels are at. The reality of how critical their fundamental skills are to how successful their results will be,  hit them immediately.  Their assessment skills are right on track ( the SIM form is working out nicely). Interesting point that the students made regarding the lack of palpable nodes in almost all of their clients, compared to their clients in Canada. We tossed around a few theories; e.g.  lowered level of stress, minimal allergy issues, higher immune support, etc. Any others? With the 5-1 ratio, I was able to assess and assist them in the areas that they needed to focus on easily.

Ergonomics was an issue (it always is) but we knew that before coming here. We were mindful of switching operators regularly. Some every 30 minutes, some every hour depending on the difficulty of the client. We had 1 dental chair that we could occupy but the rest were fashioned out of beach and deck chairs. This is the first year that we had set up out of doors, underneath mango trees. The umbrellas were set up to protect us from falling mangoes. Tanis got hit on the shoulders on our second day!

Today is our day off so we rest in time for our Primaria school visits and two more long days in the hospital dental clinic in a few days. 


  1. Melissa SchaeferMay 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    I love all your smiling faces...indicative of the satisfaction that comes with a job well done!

  2. Thanks Missy,
    Well, you know how good it felt when you were down here a couple of years ago. Everyone just want to do the best they can for their patients and the patients in turn are so appreciative. It's a win-win for all!