PROGRAM: UniBreak Groups
PROJECT: University of Western Sydney Nursing Placement
WRITTEN BY: Rachael Bobbin
The weekend passed much too quickly for any of our liking and now we are back in Wat Chan to continue our work in the health clinics. At our first clinic we primarily observed how health clinics were operated, which was interesting as it was not so different from the outpatient clinics at home, except they are more task orientated, whereas we generally look at patents health as a whole, not just their current state of health.
Over the next two days we worked in health clinics at boarding schools in the mountains. The kids were cooperative in the health checks and loved to play games including ‘red-light green-light’ and the ‘hokey-pokey’ which is what it's all about. Over all, including the children, we have completed health checks and assessments on approximately 1000 patients in two weeks. Each day has left us exhausted to the point where dinner conversation has been to reduced to "humph" meaning pass the chicken and "arrrrgh" meaning I thought I grabbed the tomato sauce not chilli.
This week emotions and tensions ran high as everyone started to feel a little home sick. If we didn't have such a good team it would have been a messy ending but being responsible adults we sorted out our differences and got back to the real reason why we are all here - to learn about health care delivery in remote areas. On our last night in Wat Chan the hospital organised a traditional Karen farewell ceremony. We were blessed with safe travels and best wishes on our future endeavours. It was a very emotional time as we gave our presents and deepest thanks to these amazing people who had been our family for two weeks. After the official goodbye, the party began with traditional Thai dances and rice whiskey and ended with the Nutbush and the hokey-pokey.
Overall, this has been an incredible experience that we wouldn't trade in for the world and if you are reading this because you are considering participating in one of these trips, I highly recommend it.