Importance Of My Journey To Peru

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With a deep and abrupt rumble, the air conditioner broke down. It was mid-July in Lahore, Pakistan and the outside temperature was rapidly approaching 100 degrees. I was notorious for getting an upset stomach whenever my family visited Pakistan, and this trip was no different. At eight years old, I could not imagine anything worse than suffering through a stomach ache in the sweltering heat of a Pakistani summer. If the heat was not exhausting enough, my family had to listen to my perpetual complaining. Eventually, my grandma decided to take me to the local health clinic. Holding my hand, she walked me down the crowded clinic corridor. The filth and chaos was overwhelming, nothing like any hospital I had seen before. We reached the doctor’s…show more content…
Volunteering in Peru introduced me to an entirely new set of healthcare challenges. I observed how local physicians overcame huge limitations in resources through innovation and commitment to their patients. I learned how to work within the monetary restrictions of patients, careful to never waste even a single pair of gloves. This trip made such an impression on me that I returned to Peru the following year, working as a translator for the Ayacucho mission. Scrubbing in on a C-section was naturally a highlight of the trip, but I learned my most valuable lesson through communicating with patients. I listened to patients, translating and ensuring that their needs and concerns were expressed. Working in Peru taught me how to interact with a diverse range of people. I became sensitive to the cultural and financial needs of patients, striving to meet these needs with…show more content…
On one occasion in the emergency department, an older woman was aggravated and giving the nurses a difficult time. I offered to sit with her and was initially greeted with both hostility and resentment. Eventually, we started chatting and her apprehension began melting away. By the end of our conversation, we were both laughing. Pulling me close, she whispered that she had soiled herself earlier but was too embarrassed to tell anyone. Patience, persistence and open communication enabled me to determine the reason for her behavior. The solution was so simple, and she was finally comfortable enough to interact with her healthcare providers and get the care she needed. While I canʼt say our initial interaction was pleasant, it was such a rewarding experience to know that I was able to make this woman feel comfortable during her stay. I experienced firsthand that working in the medical field, even in the US, has its own set of challenges. As I learned in Peru, clear communication and sensitivity to a patient’s unique needs is universally valued in
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