Dr. Jeff Volunteering thru the Rotation Program

My first day (8/5) was at Port Maria Hospital. We had a substitute driver named Justin. Steve was not available – never heard why… Justin is actually the X-ray tech at the hospital but became the driver for the morning as the X-ray machine was down for the day. (Didn’t hear if it was fixed) Had a tour of the facility from Dr. Brown, the Parish Manager. (equivalent to a County Health Officer?) Then they put me right to work.I saw Urgent Care type cases – first come, first served. It was right next to the ED – Which they call A&E here (I believe it’s for accidents and emergencies).  Saw a total of 6 patients only – I guess it was a slow day as the A&E was not busy when I arrived and the Peds Ward was rather quiet.Two of the patients were infants w/ constipation but otherwise healthy (they say “Can’t du du” here) and a young man with a cellulitis from nail puncture on his foot. The last patient I saw had a second occurrence of fever w/ bad leg pain – so bad he had trouble walking. Otherwise healthy kid. We got some blood work (one of the Jamaican doctors helped me – I haven’t drawn blood in 15 years!) which should elevated CK. I think it’s a viralmyositis because I had 2 patients in the past with something similar. The rest of the day was very slow – no more patients. On Tuesday (8/6) I am actually sitting here writing this beside the pool. Apparently it’s Jamaican Independence Day and a holiday. We were told not to come in today and wouldn’t have a driver anyways.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to Annotto Bay Hospital, a little further to the east from Port Maria.
  • Spent Wed & Thur at Annotto Bay Hospital. ABH is the referral hospital in the area for Peds – they are considered 1 level higher as they have ventilators. Any sicker than normal kids are transferred here from Port Maria & Port Antonio. The really sick kids are sent to Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Kingston.
    1st day did ward rounds – there were a handful of babies and older children hospitalized; from a 9 year old sickle-cell patient w/ asthma (or Acute Chest??) to babies for R/O sepsis and GERD. Sat in on ward rounds w/ Dr. Ramos and the other doctors. Most of the doctors are GPs, learning Peds from Dr. Ramos and Dr. Fisher. Unfortunately the hospital had it’s water shut off due to drought conditions and all but vital services were shut down. So Thursday there was no regular Peds clinic. Spent the afternoons in A&E but only saw 1 peds patient in 2 days.
    Spent time talking to the local doctors about their experiences, training, cases, among other things.
    Friday was at Port Antonio Hospital (PAH), physically seems the biggest of the 3 hospitals. Peds ward had a few patients – also a mix and none significantly ill. Saw a few patients in the Referral clinic – one infant for tight frenulum but feeding and growing well. Spent the rest of the afternoon in A&E and saw a handful of patients – most common complaint was VGE and 1 younger patient was actually admitted for dehydration. The drive from the resort to PAH is the longest – about 2.5 hours each way. Others have reported the drive was nausea-inducing but I didn’t find it so.

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