Robert Emeh

Alabama St. Student

December 14, 2013

Day Four: Patience

Early in the morning, the group two members and I went with Darlin, our translator, to the neonatal department of the hospital. I was excited to see how the doctors and nurses cared for the newborns. Once we arrived in the front, the doctor greeted us and began to give us some important information about the neonatal department.

My group two members and I were taught the trend of the infant mortality rate over the past decade at the neonatal department. The infant mortality rate had been uncomfortably high over the past years, but has gone down due to better nurse training and better methods of preventing the transmission of germs to babies while caring for them. In comparison to the U.S., the U.S. has better technology for neonatal care, whci is one of the reason why they have a lower mortality rate. Due to government control, another issue in the neonatal department was the fact that the hospital only has running water for 4 hours a day. I think it’s a shame that the government would get in the way of the hospital’s productivity by limiting its water, especially in the neonatal department.

Once the doctor was done giving us information about the neonatal department, he let us see the babies. Although we weren’t allowed to touch anything, it was still an awesome sight to see. All the beautiful babies laid in their crib, with some crying and some sleeping peacefully. There was one baby in particular the doctor wanted us to look at. That baby was sleeping on its belly, and the doctor told us the he had syphilis and HIV. I broke my heart to have a see a baby suffering from something that wasn’t his fault. That moment right there opened my eyes to the reality and seriousness of the medical field.

After our lunch break, the group two and four members met with Dr. Valera to learn how to suture. The doctor gave all of us a piece of pig skin with a cut on it. We watched him do a suture, and then he gave us the equipment to do our own. The pig skin was thick, while made it hard to puncture with a needle. I was frustrated at first, but I eventually got the hang of it, and was able to close the cut. Practicing suturing gave me more of an appreciation for surgeons who are able to do it in less than 5-10 minutes, because it honestly took me at least 30.

Once we got back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the night, Dr.Rolling called some of the TPAIDA students into the diner. The students and I all talked to Dr. Rolling about how our day was, and how the experience has been so far. Dr.Rolling was happy to that everyone was enjoying their time at Peru. While we were all talking, Dr. Rolling gave us some great advice: Have patience. He told us not to try to grow up too fast, and focus on doing your best day-by-day.  In terms of my situation, I’m only a college freshman, so there is still a large amount of time for me to reach my potential. In regards to suturing, one day I will master the technique just like the surgeons, I just have to be patient. I am going to take this journey one step at a time, knowing that big things lie ahead.