Thursday, March 31, 2011

Joy Comes in the Morning

For those who are following, I thought I'd give a quick update about how screening went.

I was up around 5:20 am, grabbed my things and made my way up for a nice breakfast, and left the ship at 6 am to make it in time to assist with the beginning of screening.

Around 7 the first patients were admitted through the gates. At first I was helping with the Maxillo-facial waiting area. This included facial tumors, cleft lips and palates, burns, among other things. I had a blast- there were kids galore!! Eventually, as time got going, I realized I was supposed to be in scheduling, not in the area where they wait to see the doctor, so I moved to my area.

Things were super calm at first and I made a point to introduce myself and try to get names.... luckily many names repeated, but it was hard to remember who was who when they kept changing seats and were up and down. After time, we had to expand our section of probably 30 or so seats to another at leasst 30, then again later.

I went to have a little snack break, which was no more than 10 minutes, and I came back and it was booming and people were confused and had to figure out where people belonged. Eventually we got back into the groove after many miscommunications and frustrated crew as well as patients. We figured it out though:)

The clouds were out almost all day- until about 12pm. Once the sun came out it was crazzyy hot!! Thankfully, due to the amazing organization of this screening, all of our potential patients were in the gate by 8:30 am, meaning we got through all of them by about 1:45 or so.

We were fortunate enough to get back quickly, with no traffic, and have some down-time. Unfortuantely, work needed me to help out- they were extremely short- staffed, so I was very tired by the end of the day, but thankfully my gateway family had a movie night planned, so I joined them for a really really fun time with tonns of laughter:) We all needed it.

Though we helped many, we also had to say 'no' to many and some also got news that they, or their loved one, is dying. We do have a palliative care program through the ship, which is such a great opportunity to comfort those who are terminally ill and their families. I think it is one of the hardest jobs on the ship, but I think it is vital for these patients to have some rest both physically through pain management, and emotionally.

This picture took place during the beginning of screening- I love kids. Duh. If you know me at all, you know this. I feel most at home with them, so I totally took advantage when I was at screening. So many cute kids around. When this picture was taken, I was just being a complete goofball with the munchkins, and just trying to get them to laugh and cheer up despite the fact most of them spent the night outside of the complex, were tired, hungry, and also not well. I saw one of the photographers take pictures, but I'm really blown away by how awesome the shot is:) So. Cool.

More later!! :)

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