The town motor went out, so there

was no electricity for 2 days in a row.

I've been in Santa Clotilde for 1 week now and have just finished my first week of work at the health center. The Centro de Salud Santa Clotilde (CSSA) is the only health center on the Rio Napo. There are health post in other towns but this is the only health center. A health post is staffed only by a nurse or a medical assistant. CSSA therefore gets referrals from these health posts and patients will travel as long as 3 days by canoe to get here.

CSSA has a full staff, nurses, medical assistants, 4 peruvian doctors, a midwife, a dentist, pharmacy staff, and Padre Jack. Padre Jack, is basically, the jefe. He is a priest and internist by training, but he does everything...c-sections, osteotomies, dialysis. And he's been here over 20 years, totally committed to this health center, this community, and the region. As chief of the CSSA he also oversees the many health posts along the Napo River and coordinates vaccination campaigns to remote areas. The center has a procedure room, an OR, offices for outpatient visits, and a hospital with approximately 30 beds. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to upload photos.

A typical day starts with a run around the town with one of the other doctors, followed by breakfast and then it's bedside rounds at 8am. The rounds are very interactive and there is definitely an emphasis on education and wanting to learn what is being done by others, what is done in ideal conditions, and then what can actually be done here. They are constantly asking me what we would do in the states. After rounds we see patients in the consultorio. You see patients until 2pm and then your day is over. Occasionally you stay later if you admit a patient, do a procedure, or there is a delivery. Lunch is whenever your done with patients and then the afternoon and evenings are yours, unless your oncall. So, that's it....a typical day in Sta. Clotilde.

January 10, 2009 by Blanca Baldoceda

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