Posing outside the Hospital de Dia which is a day program for psychiatric patients in Talca, Chile.
Today was a long and tiring day. We went to the same outpatient facility as yesterday and we sat in on psychiatric appointments which involved a psychiatrist, a nurse, a psychologist, a social worker and a paramedic (similar to an LPN in Chile).
Patients were interviewed about their symptoms and after a discussion between the patient and the healthcare team, a plan was made and medications prescribed. Some patients proceeded into the exam room for injections of longer-acting psychiatric.
There were a few things that really captured my attention today. The psychiatrist, Dr. Sjoberg, told us he likes to work with the nurse and social workers, etc. as a team because they can work as a cohesive unit making suggestions to each other with thenotion that someone might miss something and the other providercan point those things out to their colleagues if something the patient says or does goes unnoticed.
I admired the teameffort and attitudes of the peopleI met today. I also liked how welcoming the staff was at the clinic. They were understanding and patient with me when I spoke slow, broken Spanish and they really tried toget to know me and the other students.
We all sat down and ate a mid morning snack including the psychiatrist. I was surprised that as a doctor he took the time to sit down with us and happily answer any of our questions. I feel like that would rarely happen in the U.S.
Students with new friends from the Hospital de Dia.
Today, like every other day we have been here in Chile, we were forced to challenge ourselves and use the little Spanish we know in order to communicate with our new friends at the clinic. They reciprocated this effort to us by trying to speak some English (those of them who knew any). I feel that psychiatric health is a priority here in Chile and I am happy about that. The staff at the sites we’ve visited seem very passionate about what they do and caring toward the patients.
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