Today is July 15th but this blog post will only include what happened from the 4th through the 10th as I am posting it a few days later than expected. This week we rotated to the HemoDialysis unit (HD) and everything I learned here was new to me. This past year we typically would have the opportunity to go to an HD unit within clinical but, because of covid this day was moved to a virtual assignment. On our first day on the unit, we had a lot of time observing as everything was so new and exciting (and confusing). However, by the end of the day, we gained a good understanding of how the HD machines worked and how to set up and prime the tubing which was way more complicated than normal IV tubing. Throughout the next few days on the unit, we learned more and more about HD from the nurses, our preceptor, and even the patients. Along with learning more knowledge about HD we also learned many new nursing skills such as removing the IV cannula with HD patients which is a similar idea to a normal IV removal but has a lot more blood involved. We also learned how to insert an HD cannula which again was similar to normal IV needles but had a learning curve as the needles ranged from 15-18 gauge (mini swords as Mia called them). Beyond these skills we also learned about troubleshooting the HD machine, starting a patient on HD with an internal jugular hemodialysis catheter, and also the importance of preserving the fistula site and patient teaching that comes along with that. Beyond the hospital, we got to travel to see another nursing major Maddy Schmitt placed at a different internship site which was super stressful navigating the transportation but once we arrived it was an amazing time spending the weekend with her and her coworkers. Overall a great week where we got to learn a lot in regards to nursing and we got to learn a lot about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones in and out of the hospital.
Today is July 4th, 2022. We have officially passed the halfway point of our time in the Philippines. This week we rotated to the Surgical unit at SFCFC. On the first day in the unit we spent most of the time observing procedures and getting an idea of how the flow of surgery looks, Sir Jeff also familiarized us with surgical tools used, and also what the Post Anesthesia care Unit (PACU) looks like in the Philippines. After our day of orientation, the rest of the week was spent with Mia Aileen and me taking turns scrubbing into surgeries and acting as surgical nurse assistants. This was an amazing experience as this has been the first time I have been able to scrub into surgery and help out. It was super cool to be a part of the surgical team. However, I am not sure if I could see myself working on a surgical unit in the future as it involved a lot of standing (I stood for 5 hours straight for one surgery) and keeping my hands still not to break sterility which is not my strong suit. However, we still got to practice and observe many nursing skills during the pre and post-surgery phase as we administered medications, set up IVs, and transferred patients. On top of scrubbing into surgery, we also got to observe many more procedures such as colonoscopies, gastroscopies, and endoscopies as they were also performed within the OR unit. Another great experience was we learned about the newborn screening test and even helped perform it a little as the babies who were delivered in the hospital came to the OR for the test. Overall it was a super interesting and exciting week in the OR filled with meeting a bunch of great people. I am excited to see what the second half of this trip has in store for me.
Today’s date is June 26, 2022. We have been here for a little over 20 days. This week our rotation at SFCMC was in the ICU. Within the ICU I got to observe and practice so many nursing skills as the patients within the unit were in more critical states than what I have experienced on any gen-med floor here in the Philippines and back home in my clinical rotations. I got some exposure to ventilators where I learned what some of the values indicated while also learning about the two different types of ventilation. On top of this, we got more observational experience and hands-on experience with nursing skills such as inserting an NG tube, feeding patients through an NGT, inserting a foley catheter, and setting up ECGs. Outside of nursing skills I also learned a lot about medications, especially medications used in more critical status patients such as dopamine. Outside of the hospital, we were able to go and do the 1500 steps of Mt. Maculot with our preceptor Sir Jeff and his father-in- law which was followed by visiting some of their families’ property and making fresh buko (coconut) juice. This weekend Mia, Aileen, and I also traveled to Manila to explore the city (and the ginormous malls) thanks to a lot of assistance from Melissa Simoy. It is crazy to think that we are already approaching the halfway point in this experience but I am excited to see what the next 34 days will bring inside and outside the hospital!
Today’s date is Jun 19, 2022, and we landed here a little over two weeks ago. This week we rotated to the ER where I got to observe so many skilled nurses act quickly and think on their feet on how to best treat patients coming in with all types of injuries and illnesses. Rotating to the ER made me think that a more fast-paced unit might be the type of unit I would like to work on when I graduate. Additionally, this made me extremely excited for our critical care rotation next semester. Along with this, I got to perform many hands-on nursing activities such as taking vitals, preparing IV medications, and even using an ECG machine on a real patient which was a first! Besides this, in my time off I got to meet some more locals and also met some family of a student back at Wesleyan who took us to Tagaytay to see some beautiful views. This week has brought many new experiences, some exciting and some challenging.
It is currently June 12th, 2022, and I have been in the Philippines for just a little over a week. I landed on the 4th and since then have already been able to see so much of the Philippines and learn a lot about the culture. I will not lie, the first few days were hard for me to adjust to the culture shock I was experiencing, and a little bit of homesickness as everything was so new to me and I had no sense of familiarity. However, now I am settled in and have gotten a good grasp on what to expect for the next seven weeks. So far I have had an amazing experience at SFCMC thanks to my amazing instructor Sir Jeff and the rest of the hospital staff. I have already learned so much from everyone and already feel more confident as a student nurse just after one week of hands-on experience. We have been able to practice many skills within the hospital such as , hanging IV medications, and administering COVID-19 vaccines. On top of this, I have even learned new skills like performing an ECG and taking a fetal heart rate. Outside of the hospital Mia, Aileen, and I have been able to try so many new foods and see different towns in the Philippines thanks to the hospital staff taking us under their wings and driving us around. I am excited for these upcoming seven weeks because if they are all like this one I know I will have an amazing experience.
Welcome to another Blog at Illinois Wesleyan. My name is Jake Garcia and I am an upcoming senior nursing major who will spend the majority of my summer break in the Philippines gaining clinical experience at SFCMC. For a little bit more about myself, this will be my first time in the Philippines, let alone my first time in continent Asia. However, world traveling is not new to me instead, it is a passion of mine as I had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain in the Spring of 2021 and just got home from a three week may term course studying transcultural healthcare in Hawaii.
When I first came to Wesleyan, I heard about the Freeman Asia opportunity and knew it was something I was extremely interested in. This dream is now becoming a reality! I am now just a short week away from departure and can not be more excited to take on this experience. I plan to upload pictures throughout my time there onto this blog every Sunday. Feel free to come along (virtually) for the ride of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.