It takes many volunteers help to run a clinic. Here are some of the jobs that happen behind the scenes but are pivotal to the success our team.
This happens a few weeks in advance at both the villages we go to. Our partner Rotary Club of Antigua sent Jose Maria Texidor up to the villages to talk with their representatives there. Jose coordinated with the Mayor of Guardania and city council representative Erwin Chan Reyes of El Hato. Together they publicized to the small communities what services will be provided and when. Then villagers are encouraged to come sign up for an appointment time. We moved to this system a few years ago and overall we feel it helps ensure that people are there when we are. We have had times in the past where very few patients showed up on a day we ran a clinic. This approach also keeps the lines outside of the clinic manageable and makes it easier to find the patient when it’s their turn.
Patient Intake & Checkout
This one man show is run by who the villagers fondly refer to as Santa. Alonso Enriquez is a volunteer with the Newberg Rotary Club and his job is an important one. He checks people in, gets their name, age, and what problem they think they have written down on their patient card. He keeps track of the schedule to make sure patients are seen in the right order. He also is responsible for handing out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and prizes at the end of the visits. Often times the Dentist will have him translate specific instructions to the patient about after care, whether it is a warm salt water rinse, a pain medicine to take every few hours, or general brushing recommendations. It’s a lot for one person but Alonso does his job happily. Because this job has so many tasks, it is often an area where we are able to plug in Rotary Antigua Club members when they join us for an afternoon or morning of service.
I overheard a dentist say “Denise is a saint!”. And it’s true. Sterilization is a dirty job. A dirty, monotonous job. Once a patient has been seen the dentists drop their dirty and often bloody trays over at the sterilizing station. Where upon, Denise Enriquez, begins the process of sterilization. There are three buckets, the first includes a scrub brush to remove any extra tissue or gunk left on the instruments. The second basin is a water and bleach mix. Then she moves the intruments into the third basin which is a clean water rinse. Finally she is able to put the dental instruments into the sterilization machine. Once that is complete, she lays the instruments out to dry and cool down. From there the instruments are distributed back to their proper homes, new trays are set up for the next patient, and the process begins all over again.
Walter Want of the Noon Newberg Rotary Club is a veteran on these trips. In safety, electrical, and mechanical questions, his knowledge is invaluable. His primary role is providing power and compressed air to all the dental units. Yet Walter will often be seen running around in the background of the clinic, problem solving and troubleshooting different issues that arise with the equipment or the facilities.