Today was extremely eventful in the emergency room at Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center in Christiansted. The day started with the opportunity for me to get involved in the complex procedure of intubation. It was an incredible learning experience. It was extremely interesting to see the healthcare team work together to complete the lifesaving intervention. Around the corner, a patient was going to be taken in a plane to our very own TGH’s Level 1 trauma center in Tampa! I was also able to see many procedures in radiology which was amazing to see the technology. Overall, today was a wonderful experience and I’m grateful I was able to be a part of it.
Today, we visited the Queen Louise Home for Children where we had the opportunity to tour and learn about the history of the facility. We were amazed to learn that in the entire U.S. Virgin Islands, it was the only residential facility for children who have been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected. The facility had three cottages, one for girls, boys, and one for children or adults with disabilities. The age of the residents ranged from zero to thirty-two. At this current moment, the facility is at its maximum capacity with a total of 30 residents, in comparison to only a total of six residents two years earlier. We were in awe of how great the facility the was, and how they made sure to bring the feeling of home to the children. They enjoy a family style dinner every day, and staff that becomes facility. We were grateful for the opportunity to learn about this facility.
This evening Cecelia, Erin, Dr. Jordan, and I went bio luminescent kayaking. Bio luminescent kayaking occurs year-round in only about a dozen sites worldwide. There are these little plankton that will only live in specific conditions, and when they are moved around (like when you run your hand through the water) they emit light, making the water glow as it moves. So we kayaked out to this little bay where the plankton were and paddled around watching the water glow, and star gazing. We also had nets to catch jellyfish, which also glowed, so as you moved them around your hand they lit up and left a glowing slim everywhere. Unfortunately, we were unable to catch the glow of the water with the camera, but the beauty was indescribable. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.
Today I went to the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center that is a part of the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center in Christiansted, St. Croix. I had the opportunity to work with one of the nurses on cardiac pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defribrillator (ICD) interrogations. An interrogation is when the pacemaker is checked for battery life, how often the device is used and for what, and if an ICD had to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. It was very interesting to learn about how the devices differed from one another. What I found most interesting was the battery life of these devices. Pacemakers have a battery life of 10-12 years and ICDs have a battery life of 7-9 years. While patients have a device in place they come in every 6 months to a year for an interrogation of their device. Overall, I felt that my experiences at the cardiac hospital helped me understand how the heart worked and how a pacemaker or ICD can save someone’s life. The Cardiac Center is an integral part of the healthcare system here in St. Croix.
Today I worked with Erica, a nurse from Continuum Care. We conducted three home visits for clients requiring hospice care. Our job was to assess their vitals,and, check on the status of their wellness. This determines if they remain eligible for Medicare. Our first client was a lady with end-stage Alzheimer’s Disease who’s caregiver was her husband. She looked very healthy and her vitals signs were normal. Her husband was her spokesperson, and he made it clear that he only gives her homemade food and that she eats very well. He also mentioned that he does not give her any medications regardless of what the doctors suggest. Erica and I educated him on the benefits of the prescribed medications. Our second client had a stoke bilaterally, had a hip surgery, along with other illnesses. He lived with his wife, was alert and oriented, and able to answer all our questions. Our third client had Alzheimer’s disease along with Schizophrenia. She was very weak and thin. She could only use non-verbal communication. However, her caregiver, was able to answer the question we had related to the client. Her blood pressure and pulse were diminished and she had minimal bowel sounds. Today was great clinical experience for me. I learned a lot about hospice care here in St. Croix from Erica. I also learned a lot about the healthcare system here in St. Croix.
Students Karli Holt and Erin Ort prepare for their clinical day on Wednesday, June 8th. Karli is assigned to Flambouyant Gardens and will be leading the student team to conduct final home visits. Erin Ort will be at Frederiksted Peds clinic in downtown Frederiksted working with a NP conducting well-child visits.
We are off!!
USF Nursing students conduct home visits as part of their Community Public Health clinical in St. Croix at Flambouyant Gardens in Estate Barron Spot. There are 56 apartments, with six units equipped for wheelchair access, as well as a community center, maintenance building, and laundry facilities. The complex opened in 1986, and units are accessible to low income seniors 62 years and older or adults with who use a wheelchair and are capable of independent living. USF College of Nursing has a partnership with Lutheran Services allowing students a rich opportunity to provide home visits and address safety concerns and provide health education.