After two weeks of intense classes and evenings full of homework, by God’s Grace, I am a graduate of the Village Medical Course. :) Thanks to all who prayed me through. I stayed on my feet (almost) the whole time. At one point, our instructor was exasperated and said, “Amy, you and your weak stomach!”
The course was fascinating and I learned so much. Medical situations are a different ball of wax in rural Ethiopia for a myriad of reasons. A few are: 1) Many infectious and tropical diseases that have been eradicated in the West for decades still rage on in the developing world. 2) Living in a climate without a clear cold winter doesn’t give a chance for nature to kill off bacteria. 3) When a sick or injured person in rural Ethiopia finally walks the kilometers or is carried by relatives to get medical help, the sicknesses are far along and presenting in many ways so diagnostic clues are more obvious.
There was a team of high schoolers from Black Forest Academy in Germany. They had come to help at the homeschool conference and were the perfect bodies for anatomy lessons.
We learned many low tech (old school) ways to assess a patient without lab availability.
A non-medical classmate getting ready to put in a NG tube (in another classmate, a nurse from Holland). Let’s just say we did lots of procedures…I opted out of participating in this one, as I did many of the labs and was just an observer.
My head is full of new information and we prayerfully proceed into this new area. I am not ready to open a clinic and not qualified but I do feel empowered and more comfortable of assessing and diagnosing my family and friends in our village.
I also told Jon I learned so many new ways to die. ;)