June 2014: Prep 2

 
Packing List: I traveled in June, which is rainy season and also has humid temperatures. My list is not in any particular order except how I remember it. Umbrella or thin waterproof jacket: This is useful to get around, although you never travel in an open jeep. Get an umbrella that is small sized as your daily bag will otherwise get heavier. Gloves: Get a few boxes. Most places have gloves but may sometimes run out depending on supply. If you have left over, like I did, you can either give to the hospital or leave back in the Villa at Couples for the next volunteers to use. Ophthalmoscope and otoscope: Get small, lightweight portable ones. This is easily a must, if you want to get through clinic more efficiently. I used these nearly every day. There are a lot of versions available online, buy something which gives you a good deal with a sizeable stock of disposable ear nozzles. Most importantly it has to be extremely lightweight. Cross-body small purse: I used this to put my clinical equipment in – the eye and ear scopes, measuring tapes, extra nozzles, antibacterial gel, handkerchief and phone or other personal item. This was useful as one of the blog posts says don’t leave anything in the room as it may disappear. This method kept my hands free and my clinical tools available. Tourniquets: if you are used to them to do lab draws, most places don’t have any. They just tie a glove instead to obtain IV access. Easy tear surgical tape – they are in short supply occasionally. Most places are well stocked. Stethoscope(s), toys to attach to stethoscope or bubbles to pacify children. Laptop bag: I found my own laptop bag more convenient to use as it had more capacity to hold the books, water and lunch. Notebook: It is easier to keep a written running list as you complete charts, to send to Diane about patients seen every day. This does not need identifiers. I did not generally have time to log the patients in the laptop. I would do that after going back to the hotel. CDC and WHO growth charts – take them with you as you may need them Harriet Lane: There is one copy in the Villa. If you have more than one person going that month then better to have your own latest copy to use. I had data roaming on my cell phone but it only gave me 2G coverage, so the book was very important for me. Flu masks: keep a few if you may ever need them. Respiratory illnesses are prevalent. Small flashlight: To walk to and from the Villa after dark.

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