| Oct 17, 2010
I have five days in Haiti and two days working in the Advantage clinic under my belt (albeit, I'm still without my luggage!). It has been both a rewarding and eye-opening experience so far!
I am stationed here with two "physios" from Canada (as physical therapists are referred to there), two Nicaraguan prosthetists and an American pre-Physical Therapy student. We have quite the multi-national crowd.
Here’s what a typical day has looked like -- In the morning, we saw outpatient cases mixed in with some acute care patients. Just before lunch, a homebound paraplegic patient for wound care and then patients who are staying at the local rehabilitation center in the afternoon.
Some patients have traveled hours for the session as there is very limited therapy available throughout the country. In all, there are 12 Haitian Physical therapists to serve the country's needs. We serve a variety of conditions including many patients with injuries as a result of the earthquake. These include amputations, lower extremity fractures and nerve palsies. We also provide rehabilitation and support for those who incur injuries due to the hazards of life here like motorcycle accidents, infections or strokes from poorly controlled blood pressure and diabetes. As after care is limited here, many patients have not benefited from early mobilization. As a result, they are weaker and have more limited mobility to improve upon.
The therapy clinic is well equipped with mat tables, therapy balls, parallel bars, bike, as well as, a basic prosthetics and orthotic work space. Several translators are kept busy all day long translating English and Spanish into Creole. In all, the days go by quickly… we are all tired, but satisfied by the end of the day with the help that we are providing to patients.