Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010: Early Morning at Casa Maria and Spanish

We left for Casa Maria extra early this morning to see what happens during the shift change. The gero practice group planned to catch workers during the overlapping time in order to conduct what is known as a case conference. This entails picking out a patient that they either have difficulty with or simply want to understand more, and we’d assist by talking about things that might help that particular person, and hopefully this assistance will in turn assist other patients.

Well, when we got there at 6:45 am, the nurses were busy as usual and they told us we’d have to wait until 9am when they had more time. Instead of waiting around, we asked if we could help them do some of their tasks, which turned into all 15 of us in the gero group feeding patients and serving breakfast. It was a lot of fun- way more interesting than sitting on damp couches in the lobby (don’t ask why they’re damp because the answer is gross).

When the staff finished their tasks, we all gathered in the lobby area and Sue, the OT supervisor of our group, told them how much she admired their work and how great all the employees were. Then we asked them if there’s anything we could offer, or that they thought would be interesting to know about. They responded: techniques for handling aggressive patients, and how to lift someone without hurting yourself. Sue was great about turning the conversation into a positive one by encouraging the staff to tell us how they handled the situations, then she told them again what a fantastic job they were doing despite having questions. She went on to encourage all of us to share techniques that we’ve learned and all in all, everyone was able to share so much. We learned from them, they learned from us…. It was just so great!!!

My last day of Spanish was today as well! I was a little sad but welcomed having one more thing crossed off the list here in Guatemala. Our Spanish school offers trips that the teachers are free to join in on, so I invited Jessica, my professora, to Aguas Calientes, a town 20 minutes out of Antigua where they are known for weaving patterns that show up on both sides of the cloth. The school took us to a weaving cooperative and the women there gave us a demonstration on how their weaving works, what the patterns mean, and then they had a demonstration of a typical wedding ceremony. It was really fun and cute to watch, and the things these women made were unbelievably beautiful. Jessica and I had a great time there, and it was the perfect ending to my time in Spanish school.