Friday, November 9, 2007

Being a Nurse in Costa Rica

Coming to Costa Rica I had a plan. Learn Spanish. That was my focus - I knew that was why I was here. It is so awesome that God has shown me otherwise. So far I have treated 6 different "patients". God placed me in a country where medicine is good, but oh so different! Your home physician isn't a phone call away, you don't have an "advice line" to call for questions, and medications come in all shapes and sizes I've never seen in the states. Using prophylactic charcoal as a way of cleaning the toxins from your body; a topical compazine (for nausea) you rub on your wrists when traveling; sending patients home with medications they not only don't know what they are, but don't know how to use. It's all very strange. I say all that because so far I've been able to "diagnose" viral meningitis for my neighbor (all symptomatically - no, I didn't do a spinal tap..."diagnosed" a skin rash on a 2-year old; helped a baby with severe diarrhea; gave a young girl some medication for nausea; helped a young man with severe pain - I had a great first-aid kit with me; and gave another man an injection of medication he was given from the pharmacy. I guess he was expected to give it to himself. He purchased the unconstituted med (still in powder form), a vial of fluid to mix it with, and a syringe and was sent on his way. He called me...I gave him his shot - worked out for everyone. So, as I said, just when I thought I was here to learn Spanish, God showed me that ALL of my skills could be used. I've been playing on the worship team (another skill God has allowed me to learn), worked with children during out mission trip (another skill God equipped me with as the children's ministry director at our church), a nurse :-) I can't wait to see what else He has in store for me.

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