I returned a few weeks ago from Kenya and Ethiopia where I taught the global health care worker course. There were 22 students in Kenya and 23 students in Ethiopia. All of the students were either teachers or staff at the Mission of Mercy projects and were committed to the intense one-week course that was given to them so that they could become a health care worker in their projects being responsible for the health care of the children to whom they serve.
The healthcare worker course entails five days of intense learning with an overview of anatomy, physiology, pharmacy, first aid, CPR, common illnesses, management of emergency situations, and algorithm based treatment. Physical examination skills were taught and each student received a medical Fanny pack that included a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, trauma scissors, pen light, peak flow meters, a thermometer and an assortment of accessories that they would need to do a full physical examination on a child. They practiced on each other and learned to listen to the heart and lungs, to examine an abdomen, and to do a neurologic examination. There were skill stations where the , students learned CPR, how to stabilize and move a trauma patient, and do basic first aid. They also had time to spend with anatomical models of the heart and the brain and to present to the class the anatomy and physiology of different organ systems. Actual patient cases were discussed and the students were given an opportunity to share their own cases. In five days the students went from never holding a stethoscope to being able to tell the difference between regular heart sounds and a heart murmur, clear breath sounds and wheezes, and were able to ask the right questions to get a history and were able to do a full physical examination on a patient.
The purpose of the healthcare worker course is to have one or two people who are in the projects every day where Mission of Mercy children are, in order to evaluate, treat, and referrer as necessary, children who are presenting with any signs of illnesses. The children will now have the opportunity to reach their potential for physical and spiritual growth.
In all things give thanks,