Wales Medical Field Trip#2, Day 2

Clinic was much more busy today, although I only saw 12 patients, I am mostly seeing the chronic care elderly patients, and for some I am taking care of up to 10 problems at a time. Some of them take one hour!

I also got to put in an IUD and hold a 9 month for what I am now calling “baby therapy.” Since I miss my nephews and niece so much, I have to hold babies at least once a day! 🙂


It was a busy day, so not much room for muckin around, but I did have to run out a few times to see this blowing snow!

Video of Wales with bitter wind and blowing snow:

Everyone laughed at me for thinking this is a “storm.” This is normal, they say. I guess I got really lucky in October with clear beautiful weather!

I had more conversations with the janitor, who told me that this is pretty fine weather, relatively speaking. He said when it really gets bad, it’s dangerous. Because the wind and snow are so bad that you can’t see more than a few feet ahead of you. They call it a ground blizzard, because even thought it’s not snowing, the wind blows in the snow from the hills around and creates a blizzard near the ground. Several people—including his brother and his nephew—have gotten lost in it, and their bodies were found miles and miles from Wales. I can’t imagine what that would be like. His nephew, he tells me, was found out on the ice shelf. They had to chip the ice away to get him back. His brother’s body was never found, and it bothers him that he was “never put to rest.”

It makes me shudder to imagine being lost in this freezing white wind. And not being able to see anywhere around. He said the best thing to do when it’s like that, is to dig a snow cave and stay put. Because at least you know where you are, and you might end up closer than if you don’t stay where you are.

I stayed up till late finishing all my notes and prescriptions, lab orders, imaging requisitions, referrals, travel authorizations. I wish this system had a better support staff with training to help get things done for patients. We train with MAs, nurses, front desk staff, and learn the organization of an efficient system, so it is really hard to adjust where that is not part of the system. Not that there is not the support staff, and not that the health aids can’t easily do the work required—sometimes they do the work of doctors!—but that it just isn’t a part of how the system works, and it’s hard to integrate new practices and roles into a 3-day trip. We are learning together, though. This time is definitely better than the last! Last time I had no clue of what I was doing or what to expect. So I guess with that in mind, it went ok! It also helps having an amazing front desk “Travel Clerk” who knows how to anticipate what is needed and get things done. That and motivation are the hardest “skills” to teach.

Highlight of the day: Now I’m in bed, wearing my new cozy new slippers, handmade with love by the sweetest Inupiat Eskimo lady! Eskimo slippers


One thought on “Wales Medical Field Trip#2, Day 2

  1. Pingback: Wales Day 4! Last Day…Flight back

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