My goal is to clump some resources together for all of you doing remote jungle clinics. I so admire all of you, for doing your best. For being filled with compassion for those who have no other resources. For stretching yourselves way beyond your comfort level. THANK YOU. Remember: you are not ALONE! You can always reach out by email or text and ask for help. If I don’t know the answer, I will reach out to more who will. And we will pray, for wisdom. Wisdom will come! Along with healing and hope. Sometimes the medical outcome will be met with disappointment, but at the end of the day and the years, you will be able to say, “I did my best, and it was more than they had.”
If you are not already using the Sanford Guide as a resource, I would highly recommend you consider getting this invaluable tool. It is available in a small convenient little paper back book (stay as current as possible, as drug suggestions change) and/or can be purchased as an app. When I first started working with Dr. Di she would ask me, “Did you check the Sanford Guide?” Which is an extremely valid question because ANYTHING to do with infectious disease is referenced in this book. Now she doesn’t have to ask me that question so often for I have come to appreciate the wealth of information and will usually go there first (unless I’m juggling five other things and can’t access my book). It covers subjects from rat bites to urinary tract infections to tetanus exposure and everything in between. You can order on Amazon or to learn more go here.
Having listened to quite a few of your jungle stories I recognize that we are loosing kids to diarrhea and dehydration. I cannot stress the importance of recognizing the connection between malnutrition and diarrhea and how little wiggle room these kids have. An excellent simple resource on this topic is Where There is No Doctor. I invite you to refresh your memory on this topic by looking here and reading the diarrhea section.
Jumping on the web and trying to find quick answers to the issues we are trying to treat is not a bad solution. However, knowing if the resources are reliable is an issue. I feel that Mayo Clinic is a trustworthy source and will sometimes poke around on their website before reaching out for help from others. To go directly there click here.
If you are a nurse and working in a hospital you are used to something called, “standing orders”. This is where the physician who is in charge of that patient will write down actions/medications you can take/give without having to call for a “new order”. Many years ago Dr. Di created a “medicine cabinet sheet“. It was designed for all interior families to stock their supplies accordingly and have these items on hand for if the need should arrive. Since then we have updated the file from time to time and the clinic staff use this guide as our “standing orders”. We know if we have a diagnosis (i.e. urinary tract infection) we can use one of the three drugs suggested. Medicine cabinet sheet 2017 (1)
The longer I work with you all and the longer I work in Papua, the more grief I am exposed to. I don’t mean to make Papua seem like a bad place, but let’s face it: life in the third world can be very raw. Limited medical resources are a big part of that lack. I am passionate that in the process of taking care of others that we don’t loose sight of taking care of ourselves also (perhaps the hardest job). So here are just a few resources that might be helpful as we aim to stay healthy as we care for others. Read more: I have also included a health assessment tool for burnout in the medical worker. It was interesting, I just took it! Click here to take test.