Team Costa Rica: Clinic Day 5

May. 11, 2019

A team is defined as a group of people who accomplish a shared goal in a set time frame as a cohesive unit. 35 people left Atlanta on Sunday with a common goal, to provide care to an underserved population in Costa Rica. In only six days we can say we function as a team!

As a cohesive unit, we assisted over 200 people today. Most were families with young children. Having multiple people at a time to register, triage, assess/diagnose, provide PT/OT and fill prescription for puts the process to the test. Time and time again, EVERYONE rose to the challenge. I will confess though I am quite – cansada! (I absolutely know how to say it now).

A tremendous thank you needs to be expressed to our interpreters. Throughout the week, high school students, CFCI volunteers and people from the community came to help those of us with limited Spanish proficiency.  Although the role was to translate, they did so much more. They explained the culture, engaged in dialogues about future goals, current fashions, world events and patently repeated Spanish words or phrases over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea).  Speaking for myself, I would have been useless without these fabulous people!

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Looking back over the day several situations pop into my mind most involve the people and my interactions with them, not about the medicine or care I gave. My favorite for today involves a young girl who with a scowl on her face plopped herself on the bench next to me and folded her arms with a huff. When I had the translator ask her what was wrong she gave him an “if looks could kill he’d be dead” look and turned her back on us. Two seconds later she stormed off with her pig-tails flapping behind her.  As the mother of three daughters, I understand the universal language of an upset six year old didn’t-get-what-she-wanted girl!

+ Lisa Ellis, Registered Nurse, Massachusetts

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WOW, what a day! Today wraps up our last and final day. We arrived in La Carpio with a full room of people already lined up waiting to be seen. Our team got right to work and began taking patients fairly quickly.

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After 5 days of clinics we now function like a well oiled machine. We saw over 200 patients today and over half of our visitors were children. You could truly feel the love and excitement in the air.

We had a special clinic visitor, Peggy, a small puppy that found a cozy spot to take a nap under one of the the team members feet. The team worked in harmony along side amazing translators. I can honestly say this week wouldn’t have been possible without them. We ended the day with two members of the translators team singing a few worship songs in “spanglish” and emotions were high. It was beautiful.

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We closed out the week with seeing just over 800 patients and I’ve never felt more grateful and blessed. About 400-500 prescriptions were filled per day. To put that into perspective, Walgreens fills about 250 a day. This trip was one for the books. I came on this trip knowing two people and I will be leaving with a full heart and 34 new friends.

+ Susannah Trammell, Nursing Student, South Carolina
+ Brooke Simpson, Nursing Student, South Carolina

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