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Rob's Blogs

International Service Learning Program Med Lab Technology in the Dominican Republic 2013

Day 1: We went to briefly City Laboratory to meet Dr. Lambert who was making arrangements for our students to visit there on Weds.. We then went with Dr. Lambert this afternoon to his clinic in Puerto Plata to plan our week of activities. Next we visited a space where he wants his new laboratory. We took measuring tapes and graph paper and measured the area layout for the lab.

Day 2: Today May 14/13 we went to visit Dr Lambert's clinic in the Batey, the ho,e of displaced Haitians in Puerto Plata. The students got to see wound care on a diabetic patient. They remembered these wounds do not heal well as bacteria utilize sugar for food. They were using a cream with silver and sulfa drugs in it. The lady mentioned the use honey on her wound at home. We were able to tell her unpastuerized honey may contain spores of the the organism that causes gangrene and she would not use unpasteurized honey. i will leave the students to tell you more about the Batey. We then went to the hospital laboratory in the city and had a tour.

Day 3: The students are Lovin´it and I am amazed at their ibservational skills and how they were able to make a lab design on paper for Dr Lambert. They will work on the outlay of each discipline in the lab next. i know they will have many things to offer Dr. Lambert before we leave. We are going to be on Puerto plata TV tomorrow so stay tuned. My network and opportunities are growing here as well and I´v evenbeen ask to come and speak to the lab community in Puerto plata about Microbiolgy and Mlecular teasting. I´m lovin it.

Day 4: We were all invited to speak on Dr Lambert´s health education television program today. We were asked to explain rapid testing, how we found our experience at the City Laboratory and what we would like to say to the City Laboratory. The students fielded most of these questions while Michelle and I thanked the City lab for welcoming us and also thanked Dr Lambert for arranging it. We were then surprised to be presented with a plaque by Dr Lambert to commemorate our visit. We then judged finalists in his talent contest

Day 5: Michelle and I travelled to Santiago to visits the University there. We explored opportunities for exchange visits and it was a very productive day on their lovely Campus. On our way home we investigated accommodations for subsequent MLT visits to the area. Many opportunities have come out of this trip and i am very pleased with the professionalism of our students having designed a lab for Dr Lambert.
Rob Bethune
Medical Laboratory Technology Faculty
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:41 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged education nova_scotia health study_abroad nscc medical_laboratory_technology Comments (0)

Amanda's Blogs

International Service Learning Program Med Lab Technology in the Dominican Republic 2013

Day 1: Today was the day we met Dr. Lambert. Which I was extremely excited to after hearing about his story of how he came to be and the vision he wants to carry foward in his health care. It was truly inspiring! He watches over the people and has great compassion and pride with the services he wants to provide. It is going to be a great opportunity to help along in this adventure in present time and future students to come. In the culture we live in we have a tendency to take certain things for granted. Such things as the avaliability and quality of the free healthcare. Here in Dominican Republic that is something to strive towards but for us it is a way of life. It is refreshing to meet someone whose main concern is to help those less unfortunate and want to provide those services to them. I am excited to see more tomorrow!

Day 2: today was a very eventful morning. First stop was Dr Lambert's clinic in the Batey otherwise known as the slum area. I figured it would be located more outside of the town than it actually was. It surprised me to pull into such as area just by pulling off on a side street off one of the main roads since conditions of the housing were so much better only a few feet away.

They were so grateful to Dr Lambert and the clinic staff. Only great things were said about the service. One particular patient travelled from quite far away just to receive this care. The patient even allowed us to be present during her visit and tend to the ulcer on her foot. I am amazed how open and welcoming the people are in the Dominican.

Day 3: While Canadians are known to be friendly and pilite we definitely take a little Dominican culture with bus. one word that definitely comes to mind is spontaneity. We originally contacted the clinic lab to visit and by the end of the day we ended up at one that was not even contacted til earlier that day. they were welcoming and even offered up contacting other places and clinics to visit that afternoon. It was interesting to see the differences between laboratories here in the Dominican and compared to Canada. Each day has been a new surprise and learning experience and we jsut have to be willing to go along with the spontaneity of the day.

Amanda Easson
Medical Laboratory Technology Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:39 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged education nova_scotia health study_abroad nscc medical_laboratory_technology Comments (0)

Amelia's Blogs

International Service Learning Program Med Lab Technology in the Dominican Republic 2013

Day 1: Today was the first day that I had a chance to get a drive around the city and see what its like. It was quite overwhelming. There is a huge difference between how people drive in the Dominican compared to Canada. Cars pass each other on either side, there are motorcycle taxis everywhere, and stop signs seem to be a suggestion rather than a rule. It can be kind of scary until you realize that the person driving you has lots of experience driving in the area, and learn to trust them. All of that, combined with the different architecture and overall way of life, made today a bit of a culture shock, which I'm sure will disipate as the week goes on. Lots of great new experiences today.

Day 2: Today we went to a public hospital lab run by the government. I was a little surprised they even let us into the lab area, since they had never met any of us before. They even let us take pictures. In Canada, you couldn't just show up and ask to see their lab setup, that just wouldn't be allowed. It showed that the rules and regulations about things like that must be a little lax in comparison to Canada. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they follow the same quality control guidelines as we do. Although a lot of the lab equipment is on a much smaller scale than we're used to, the tests performed and the testing process were very similar. This lab had a very limited amount of lab equipment because they are dependant on government funding. Tomorrow we will be visiting a privately run lab, so it will be very interesting to see the differences between the two.

Day 3: Today we went to the private lab in the city. It was really interesting to see the differences between the private and public labs and Canada. The private lab performed a greater variety of tests and had considerably more equipment than the public lab. the lab that we saw today seemed to utilize their equipment better than we do in Canada. In canada we will have equipment that is capable of performing many different tests, but we will we will only use it ot do a few rests. In the Dominican they will do as many tests as they can one one piece of equipment.. because of this they are capable of doing a larger number of tests in a small space and utilize their workspace better than in Canada. Although both the public and the private lab have financial issues, the public lab obviously has less funding than the private lab. In order to do upgrades the private lab has to get a loan from the government and pay it back. The private lab also makes income form doing bthe food and water tesing for many resorts.ç

Amelia Doucette
Medical Laboratory Technology Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:37 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged education nova_scotia health study_abroad nscc medical_laboratory_technology Comments (0)

Michelle's Blogs

International Service Learning Program Med Lab Technology in the Dominican Republic 2013

Day 1: Hello from sunny Puerto Plata. We got off to a rough start due to weather delays in Halifax but arrived yesterday, somewhat tired. However sunshine is restful and we are rejuvenated today. In the meantime, I have had great opportunities to get to know our group of students and together we have used our collective problem solving skills. As a group, we’ve discussed some areas we want to look at closely when we get to the lab and discussed some differences we expect to see. We debriefed about how the delay interfered with our original plan to meet Dr Lambert yesterday.

Today we met with Dr Lambert and realized the extent of his vision for the lab here in PP. This dynamic man has a vision for his people! It was both interesting and exciting watching out student try to process the big picture versus what we can do in a week. Sticking to our goal, the students started the process of lab design. and all of us felt overwhelmed by the conditions we experienced -- and we know we have only begun to see the full picture. Our students are exhausted and tired from the differences in what we take for granted in Canada and the reality of here. The culture shock is still continuing to unravel for us. I want to be sensitive to the students' needs and emotional reactions to the cultural differences that they saw today. This will continue to be a focal point as we move forward toward the goals we set.

Day 2: What a day of learning we had today! Yesterday was just the beginning to set the stage for today's experience. We went to the Bayte where Dr Lambert, our contact, had a clinic. We saw a lady with ulcers on her leg. As we watched the staff address her leg, I quickly recognized her treatment - Flamazine - as the same as we might use in Canada for burns. In watching this, I wondered about the scope of practice for nurses here and the issue (or lack of) regulation in the health professions here. Interestingly, the patient described some home remedies she used and the MLT students were immediately able to describe to her why these remedies weren't effective.

Next we then saw the realty of the living experience and recognized the impacts of the determinants of health. We visited a school where students were learning without any electricity And saw homes where people lived without running water or power. All of this supports the students project of building a lab to support health care for this community.

Then we went to the public lab to see what resources they had. Tomorrow we head to the private lab. At the end of the day tomorrow, we'll offer a comparison of the public and private health care system.

Day 3: Today we went to a private lab, Coste Norte to see how it is run. What an experience we had. Rob and I decided to let the students take the lead on the tour so they could gather the assessment data they needed for the project.
We were so proud of the questions they asked and the connections they made - highlighting both similiaries and differences from home. They now have a good foundation to go forward with the next phase of the design process.

Michelle Kucey
Academic Chair, School of Health and Human Services
NSCC Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:35 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged education nova_scotia health study_abroad nscc medical_laboratory_technology Comments (0)

Kristin's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

It is only day 2 in Belize and what an adventure it has been so far! It felt like we were never going to arrive as our trip here sent us on a few detours.
We ended up with an amazing group of people, all who share a common goal of wanting to make a difference in the lives of the individuals in Punta Gorda. I would say that so far, we are meeting our goal in every way, shape and form!
Day one for me was at Hillside Health Clinic where I had the opportunity to work in the pharmacy side by side other student pharmacists and a pharmacy technician ( who is from Belize and is an officially trained pharm tech! ) It was really neat to see how the pharmacy operated. They do not use pill bottles so all patient medications are distributed in plastic baggies with hand written labels taped to the outside. There is not double check on prescriptions so it encouraged me to be extra cautious that I was picking out and packaging the proper medications! The shelves of medications are arranged by drug class rather than in alphabetical order so if I didn't already know this before, I had to learn which class each drug was in in order to be as fast, efficient, and accurate as possible. There is rare to no distribution of narcotics at Hillside. Most of what I saw being distributed was medications for diabetes, fungal infections and parasites and pain medications such as tylenol and ibuprofen. It was really neat to see how they could make do with what they have and every patient who needed treatment did not leave without receiving it! I observed how many of the patients who have been visiting Hillside long term really put trust and faith in their health care providers because Hillside has such a wonderful reputation of helping each and every person in need.
I also had the opportunity to do a few home visits in the town of Punta Gorda. A few of the nurses, med students and a pharmacist will travel into the town to see patients who are not mobile enough to make it to the clinic. It was a real eye opener to see how many of the patients live. The living conditions are so different from what we are used to in Canada. It makes me really appreciate what I've got.
I think the biggest thing that I can take from this experience so far is the way that I have managed to adapt to such different ways of living, a completely different environment and people and learning to be able to live without all the necessities that we take for granted back home! My hope is that my ease to adapt in new environments and with new people will serve me well in pursuing my career job. I am excited to see what the rest of this adventure will bring!
Kristin Ligi
Pharmacy Technician Program Student
NSCC Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 17:31 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health pharmacy study_abroad Comments (6)

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