Today was the start of week two of our program, and after a free weekend filled with exciting activities and experiences, it was time to get back to the work cite. Over the last week, we were able to form strong bonds with everyone working in and volunteering for the clinic that provides care for 4 villages. This morning rotations took place in the pharmacy, nursing station, and the doctor’s office. We got to help the nurse check people in, take blood pressure, weight, and direct them to the waiting room. Shadowing the doctor helped us understand what each patient was going through. Thailand takes noncommunicable diseases very seriously and so they categorize each person into 4 stages. The most common diseases people suffered from were hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cancer, and chronic lung diseases. I found it very efficient that patients are able to come to one clinic and get evaluated by a nurse, consult with a doctor, and get their prescriptions all in one spot. In the U.S., having access to fair healthcare is challenging for most people, even those that are well off. In Thailand, everyone has a chance to see a doctor once a month and get the care they deserve.
After our long day in the village, we also did a few home visits. We visited a woman with stage 4 cervical cancer who refused to get chemotherapy and was relying on natural healing remedies. To my surprise, she had a lot of energy for someone going through something so difficult. Another patient that we visited was an elderly woman who received two vaccines, and was bedridden for the moment due to a recent fall that fractured her hip. Finally, the whole group took a trip to see Siam Niramit which is considered to be one of the best shows in the world due to being one of the largest stage productions. The special effects and introduction to Thai history and culture was absolutely fascinating. This is definitely something everyone should see if they visit Thailand.