Week 1

Hello Everyone!

Before I start, this is a link to the pictures that I have taken in the Philippines https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZFaHtHUao5P8qhoFox3a8UXNnJDKxiYk?usp=sharing..

I have just completed my first week of the 2023 Freeman Asia internship and am writing this blog to share what I have done. In order to get to the Philippines, we had 2 flights scheduled, the first one was to Abu Dhabi, and it was 13 and a half hours long. Before our next flight we had a 16-hour Layover, so we took that time to explore the city. The first thing I noticed about Abu Dhabi was how hot and humid it was, and also how easily it was for me to get sunburnt. In Abu Dhabi, a few of us visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which is one of the world’s largest Mosques.

After our Layover, we had our second flight to Manila which took only 9 hours but since not everyone flew from Chicago, we all waited in the Manila airport until everyone’s planes landed. From the airport we were all taken to Los Banos where we would sleep and have a culture/language orientation before we all split off to go to our separate places. During the orientation, we learned some common Tagalot phrases that we would probably use during our time here. Pretty much all of the Filipinos I have met speak a good amount of English but trying to learn their language doesn’t hurt. Before we all split off into our separate groups, we had one last dinner together at this one restaurant where we tried many Filipino foods. After dinner, Faith and I were taken to our Apartment in Santo Tomas, Batangas.

The next day was our hospital orientation where we were driven to St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center and learned about the different parts and what we would be doing for the next 2 months. During our time at Cabrini, faith and I will be working in different departments throughout the hospital. This past week we have kind of been jumping around but starting this Tuesday (Monday is Philippines Independance day) we will be working in the chemotherapy department. the week after that we will be in the hemodialysis department followed by the emergency department, intensive care unit, operating department and finally the general ward (medical/surgical unit). We were also informed that we will have to write a case study while we are here and present it to some of the nurses. This past week Faith and I spent most of our time in the general ward, but when things got slow, we moved up to the operating department where we inserted IVs on patients and also observed some colonoscopies and also a C-section of a premature baby.

At home I am an ER tech at Carle BroMenn Medical Center, so I have taken note of some major differences that I have seen between hospitals. The first thing I have noticed is that Carle is pretty much fully online when it comes to charting and patient care, while at Cabrini they are trying to get to that at some point but for now they use a lot of paper for their charting. While charting on patients I learned that here, some things should be done in pen while others in pencil, this is because if something about a patient change like their diet or their status, it gets erased and rewritten on the same sheet of paper. another thing i have noticed is that all IVs get placed in the hand, no matter how nice an AC vein might look. Their reasoning for this is because if a vein blows, you can just work up the arm, and also so they can pull any needed blood samples from the AC. I believe the final thing I noticed is how many surgeries they have scheduled each day. For a hospital with 9 ER beds and around 7 ICU beds, they from what I’ve seen, do over 10 surgeries a day. Cabrini hospital is a private hospital so things will cost a little bit more than a public one. But while looking at the prices and billing of some patients i saw a big difference. For an IV insertion the cost in USD equates to $3 and for a private bed (Room with bathroom and TV) in the general ward it equates to $40 a night while a semiprivate one (room without TV) is around $25. The prices in the US for these types of rooms are thousands of dollars per night.

Some things I noticed about the Filipino culture that is different from the US is that everyone is very happy and smiles a lot. Many of the Filipinos we have talked to have been very helpful and nice, for example, when faith and I went to the mall, we bought a blender and the worker insisted on carrying this blender to the checkout counter for us. Filipinos also are very fond of Americans, Faith and i have only been here for a week and just about every person we pass waves and says hello and sometimes even asks us for a picture. We have also started to ask everyone who wants a picture with us, if we could also have a picture with them.

This is the end of my week 1 blog, I’m excited to see and experience more of the Filipino culture!

Also… it rains A LOT here, while I’m typing this blog, I cannot hear my music because of how loud the rain is hitting the roof. they did tell us that it is the middle of the rainy season because of a monsoon so that could by why….

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