The road to my first clinic was a long and difficult one. Despite being nineteen and away from home, the consent of my parents is always needed before I start on any venture that is outside of my comfort zone. At first my parents were very apprehensive, the news and stereotypes of places like Tijuana do not lend it to being a very favorable place for parents to allow their kids to go to without them. Yet, with numerous phone calls and information from various IHC members, I was able to finally convinced my parents into allowing me to go.
When we arrived to the clinic, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The building was small and the set-up was minimal, but definitely prepared. Then I proceeded to triage and began my first rotation. Immediately, I began to take vitals of various patients from old to young. I can now say that I am an expert at taking blood pressure, even in a room of yelling children and chatter everywhere. It was extremely interesting to listen to the EMT and the questions he had, as well as his reactions to the responses given by the patients. He was extremely caring and patient, treating every patient as if this clinic was made just for them, which allowed the patients to feel at ease and well-cared for at the time. These moments definitely reminded me why I want to become a physician so badly. In particular, there was one little girl with a giant bow in her hair that I'll never forget.
Previously, my team had to work with another child, who was extremely fearful and would't allow us to take barely any of her vitals. So it seems natural that when one of our following patients consisted of a family with both an infant, toddler, and child. Immediately my cortisol levels shot through the roof. Even so, I calmed myself down and began to take the vitals, but the amazing part was the curiosity of the little girls. They wanted to know what everything was and the toddler had so much fun pretending that the heart rate monitor was a little animal chomping away at people's fingers. The best moment though, was when I had to take her temperature and we proceeded to play a game, where I was doctor and took her temperature and then she was doctor and took my temperature. The huge smile on her face is one thing that I'll never forget, not to mention her endless screams of joy while playing. It was during this time that I realized clinic is not just a place where we help with people's ailments, but also a place where we make connections and help foster a community that we care for as much as we would for our own families. Can't wait for the next one!