Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rosales Hospital

Rosales is one of the oldest operating and largest State run hospitals in all of central America. A couple of the volunteers have started going to the hospital to help out on Mondays and Fridays and this is Hollan`s experience he had on Friday.
We walked past the guard at the entrance of the hospital and made our way to the head nurses station. Rachel, Danyelle, Fred and I made our way to the head nurses station. Because Danyelle and I don`t speak much spanish we have been paired with spanish speakers so that communication can be maintained between us and the hospital staff. We waited patiently as our contact came out to meet us. We were escorted to first the womens wing were Rachel and Danyelle would be for the day and then Fred and I were taken to the Mens wing. As we entered the building we were introduced to the head nurse of the mens wing and she started showing us around. I immediately noticed how privacy is not a word in the vocabulary of hospitals here. One large room housed 22 patients and most of the time the beds touched each other making Nosocomial diseases a guarantee. (Nosocomial diseases are diseases or sicknesses you get while staying in the hospital for something else), Breakfast hadn`t arrived yet so Allie (the head nurse told us to just go get to know the patients) so Fred and I did, we went around the entire room and simply asked what was wrong with them and if they were in pain or if the food was good here and of these 22 patients here is what we were dealing with: Our first patient had just had a major abdominal operation and was lying comatose on his bed. Bed 2 stared at the lights all day and said nothing, and we were later informed that he had just had brain surgery and a full recovery was doubtful. The next couple of guys, (giovanni, manuel, carlos, carlos) had broken bones from falling out of trees, shattered legs from a mudslide, Head wounds from car accidents, and Carlos had two gun shot wounds one entering and exiting his right hand and one entering and exiting his abdomen. The final two men of the first row had bed sores, weakness, aches, pain, fever and were probably sharing their sicknesses. On the other side of the room was the worst of all, Rena, had been shot five times from a gang related shoot out and had both of his lungs punctured, which required large tubes (a little smaller than PVC piping to be inserted in either side of his abdomen for drainage of the blood that would fill his lungs, he was in so much pain and at one point in the day he asked Fred and I to help him sit up alittle but after discovering that his entire back and bed was soaked in blood we decided the bed was more than likely acting as a bandage and decided him sitting up would make him bleed out and die within minutes, so we layed him back down. Next was Christian who we wheeled to the abscess department so his calf abscess could be debreeded, I can`t exactly explain what that was like because I lack the medical terminology knowledge but open wounds and a lot of bleeding comes to mind. Upon leaving we also saw a body being taken to the morgue. Of the other patients present in our wing we had hernias, a heart attack patient, a broken femur than necesitated a weight system of 18 pounds to pull the bones apart for proper placement, spinal problems, catheters, colon bags, Tumors, Throat surgeries and much more. Nurses continually changed bandages and open wounds were exposed which made for excellent viewing and incredibly shadowing experience, Also Fred and I did our best to become friends with the nurses and by the end of the day we could look at everyones x-rays with a problem and we even go invited to one of the nurses birthday party. I can`t wait for Monday and I hope those guys in the hospital are surving.