Monday January, 17, 2011
We awoke bright and early (thanks to the help of our neighboring rooster) and enjoyed yet another feast from St. Michael’s splendid cooks. We then traveled to Pilusorio Center for Geriatric Care for a courtesy call and environmental assessment. We were pleasantly surprised at how active and vigorous the Filipino geriatric population was. After a warm greeting from the geriatric center's coordinators, we attempted a greeting and introduction in English to the seniors present. Thankfully our Filipino nursing partners translated into Tagalog for us. We traveled to Maximillian Industry Inc, in the afternoon for an environmental survey and the beginning exposure to Occupational Health. We were very excited for this opportunity, as very few of us have had the chance to experience this back in Canada. We were orientated to the factory and the product, as well as being given the chance to ask the manager questions on work hours and health standards being followed. Following our tour of the factory we returned to St. Michaels to collaborate with our Filipino nursing students and prepare for tomorrow’s activities with our geriatric patients and plan for out assessment for Occupation Health. It was interesting to see the difference in health and safety within the factory and geriatric center as well as getting the chance to put our community theory leanings into practice. It is fascinating to see the theories that we learn back home actually being implemented by students over in Philippines. It has caused many of us to question why we cannot do this type of involvement within our own core populations in Saskatchewan.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Today we were privileged to see our planning put into action. We returned to Pilusorio Center for Geriatric Care to implement our planned games. We started by partaking in a vigorous stretching and warm-up routine. Amazed by the stamina of our patients who could stretch, jump and twist as if in their mid-twenties. Trish and Leia went on to lead the group of 40 seniors and 12 nursing students in learning the Cha Cha. The swaying of our hips and the up-beat music resulted in many delighted peals of laughter. We followed this with a round of Hokey Pokey, Musical Chairs, Charades and the Filipino favorite "Hep Hep Hooray." After a lengthy and educational lunch we returned to the factory for our health assessments of the factory workers. We had them fill out a survey, conducted blood pressure, lung sounds, forced expiratory rate (breathing in as deep as possible, then blowing it out as fast as possible, the normal being blowing it out within 4 seconds), heart rate, and respiratory rates on as many workers as we could within 15 minute break period. We managed to assess 42 out of 65 workers. It was definitely a different experience compared to the assessments that we do back in Canada. The same assessment would have probably taken 20 minutes per person in a hospital in Canada, and it was amazing to see how fast and thorough our Filipino counterparts were at their assessments. It was also quite the experience to try and explain the survey questions to the workers in English. It really gave us an appreciation for what it must be like to be a minority who cannot speak the mainstream language. Following our surveys we returned to St. Michaels to tally results, the results showing that educational teaching was needed in the areas of proper mask application and hand hygiene. Together with our Filipino students we went on to plan appropriate health teachings to impart to the workers, and what refreshments to offer to entice the workers to listen. St. Michaels was hosting a wedding party in the evening. From our usual supper positions on the balcony we were able to view our first Filipino wedding, complete with fireworks. It is safe to say we have never seen a more beautiful display of white gardenias and climbing vines. A lovely ending to an eventful day.
Wednesday 19, 2011
We gathered to prepare tuna sandwiches to hand out to our geriatric and factory worker populations. With a little bit of teamwork, and a new learning experience (apparently in the Philippines they do not use the ends of bread, as it is looked at as disrespectful) we accomplished making sandwiches to hand out. We loaded into the van, with our wonderful and skilled driver Arnel and headed to Pilusorio Center for Geriatric Care. On arrival we were greeted with great enthusiasm by the seniors who were ready to Cha Cha up a storm. Unfortunately we have been experiencing unseasonably rainy and cool weather and it choose to pour down upon our dance lesson. We moved the activities into the much less spacious quarters inside. Even packed inside like sardines the seniors and ourselves managed to continue the fun. This included a round of telephone ‘Filipino style) and many pictures.
After lunch we headed back to Maximilian Systems Inc and set out lunch and drinks for the workers. Although it decided to resume the down pour (not the spitting we Canadians call pouring but a real heavy river created by the falling of water) we arranged for the workers to sit and listen to our role-play. Trish and Amy explain the proper way to wear a mask along with the positive and negatives side of wearing/not wearing one. Carol and Valerie role acted in the background, with an energetic dance moves from Carol (much appreciated from the workers). The health teaching was well received, this was demonstrated by the fact that the workers were seen practicing later on in the afternoon. After the teachings and a brief stop at the grocery store to pick up art supplies for tomorrow’s presentations. We ended a busy day with reflection and post conference.
Thursday 20, 2011
This morning we all met in time to review our plans for the day. Two of our nursing students told us about an event that they witnessed last night on the way home. They explained how they witnessed a man commit suicide and how they tried to prevent it. They recalled the fear and despair that they felt when they realized it was too late. This story showed us how there are many disparities existing in the day to day lives of Filipino workers. It was a reality check on the many needs that still exist within this country, and a reminder as to our goals while staying here. We headed back for our final day at Pilusorio Center for Geriatric Care, were we enjoyed a final day of dancing and health teaching with the senior citizens. After a brief lunch break we headed back to Maximilian Systems Inc. where we went on to share our findings from our earlier surveys, and our Filipino partners presented the proper way to wash hands. We proceeded to immunize 28 workers for tetanus.
We had a interesting and unusual experience to follow, Maximilian Systems Inc asked all of us to pose for a photo shoot as they are planning on expanding their products into women’s wear, under the brand of Hijo. After a star treatment of getting our hair styled and being put in clothing, photos were taken, and pizza followed. After a long day we headed back to St. Michaels were we went on to immunize nine of the St. Michael’s staff members. Safe to say everyone will be ready for bed tonight