Volunteers Offer Medical Skills to Those in Need
"It was great to help out on the medical end, even if it was just giving a hand of support to someone that really needed it."
A rainbow greeted the Pacific Partnership 2011 medical team as they stepped off the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1665 for the last day of work at the Nanpei medical clinic in the Federated States of Micronesia. Many took the beautiful site as a sign that it would be another good day.
“We were able to see as many patients as we could,” says HOPE volunteer Nurse Bridget Binko. “We saw a few children with skin problems, which seemed to be the major health concern.”
Volunteer Nurse Hanna Taylor helped treat a Micronesian boy who came into the medical sight with a machete wound to his lower left leg. Working alongside Able Seaman Thomas Pearson of the Royal Australian Navy, and Lt. Michael Bloir, Taylor says, “It was an interesting day, and really hands on. We stitched the boy up, and referred him to the hospital.”
Volunteer Andrew Siler, Doctor of Pharmacy student from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia also helped out, offering the young boy his hand to squeeze while the doctors stitched up his wound. “It was great to help out on the medical end, even if it was just giving a hand of support to someone that really needed it,” says Siler.
Later in the day, Taylor and Siler worked together again, with Pacific Partnership’s Lt. Noah Hammer. “We drained an abscess on a seven-month old baby,” Taylor says. While Taylor assisted the doctor with the procedure, Siler prescribed the right amount of medication to treat the infection.
“This kind of abscess was something I have never seen before,” Taylor says. “The infection was before the skin.”
As the medical site closed down for the day, the volunteers left satisfied knowing their medical skills were put to good use and excited about learning some new knowledge and skills from their experience.