Wednesday, July 13, 2011


As my time here draws to a close, a few random thoughts on various things . . . . .

Parkland all over the world
Since I have been here, I have witnessed the long reach of Parkland to help burn patients all over the world. Yesterday in morning conference with the medical staff, one of the surgeons gave a presentation on care of burns. Among his slides were references to the Parkland formula for burn resuscitation. A visiting volunteer Emergency Medicine MD from Illinois immediately spoke of the Parkland formula when I told him where I worked. I used web material from Parkland to teach my Rehabilitation Technician students the rule of 9's. I am using my own knowledge from working in Parkland PT to teach the students how to work with the many children here who have suffered a burn. Knowledge from Parkland spreads far beyond the boundaries of Dallas County.

The mind is willing, but the body is wearing down
I always come here with great enthusiasm to do as much as I can in the short time available. I soon find, though, that I have to slow down. The constant heat, inside and out, drains my energy. By mid afternoon I am dragging and in the evening I am grateful that we are not on daylight savings time so that it will soon be dark and time for bed. The comforts of home will be much appreciated once again when I return.

Clean, plentiful, drinkable water
Never take it for granted.

The Haitian Nurse was right
And I was wrong. I was certain that the surgeon had asked me on rounds to prepare the patient for discharge as soon as possible. There was an order in the chart to discontinue the IV; the Surgery Resident confirmed the order. The IV was interfering with our gait training with crutches and we needed to get the patient ready to go. But there were more words in the chart on another page with a different color paper, and my interpretation was wrong. Things move more slowly here. The patient will likely be discharged tomorrow if all goes well, not today. The IV needed to stay in today. After the surgeon confirmed that the Nurse had, indeed been correct to leave the IV in place, I immediately went to her and told her that she was right and I was wrong, and that she was a very good nurse. Even though she did not speak English, it was clear that the message was understood. Just to make certain, I went back later in the day with a translator and told her again.

Two more days in the hospital with the Rehabilitation Technician students, then this weekend to work with the next team of teachers who will take over on Monday. I leave here at 4:00 AM Monday morning for the trip to Port-au-Prince, then Florida, then home.

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