One of the nurses and the administrator at the clinic had come up with this idea to do home visits in the community. Now this seems like a great idea. I've read and seen lots of things in the states talking about the growing need for home visits. Not only are the important for patients who are older, immobile, or terminal; but studies have shown that it can actually save money. Patients don't have to pay for transportation to hospitals when things get too bad, but can find ways to manage their health care at home. The neighborhood the clinic serves is low income, so this seems like a perfect project. People who can't get to the hospital on their own and may not be able to pay for help getting there.
We made our own forms for this project, as the clinic didn't really have any. Our forms were designed to assess the health status of every member of the family- functional, nutrition, hygiene, mental status, and physical health. Then there were additional pages for complete histories and physicals for each member as needed. We also have forms to formally assess for caregiver burnout, dementia, depression, etc.
Unfortunately the clinic does not seem to have the staff or the scheduling to support this project. Despite repeated attempts to go out with nurses or on our own, things have fallen through time and time again. I believe its time to move on to another project.
We have contacts at both the public hospitals in Cusco- Antonia Lorena and Regional- and hopefully will be able to start volunteering there as early as next week. Either should be a very interesting experience as to how hospitals run in another country, what diseases are seen, and how they are treated. I'm sad that things have been going so poorly at the clinic, but there are still lots of exciting possibility on the horizon.