Hello again, folks! Booting up my blog again, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you of my third class from Equip Inc. - MMI or (Missionary Medicine Intensive). http://www.equipinternational.com/training-courses/missionary-medicine-intensive.htm
This is Equip’s main class and reservations must be made almost 6 months in advance. People come from all over the world to take this class, having learned about its reputation from either the internet or from personal referral. The class is two weeks long and intensive is the operative word. It has been called the hardest class ever taken by those in the nursing program... and yet here is layman Greene. I want to say what an awesome job the instructors did. Yes, it was hard, and it should be. Even for a person with limited education the bases have been covered and I feel confident in standard practices. I would be careful to admit I am aware of my painfully obvious limitations; mainly I am not a doctor or a nurse. I shall not practice medicine anywhere, but when and where it is appropriate for the situation. "But now I know and knowing is half the battle." I took this class to be prepared to help when and where there is no doctor. If nothing else, I can help out in a clinic and I have a good base of what to do in some rather specific tropical medicine environments. Third world medicine is more closely related to pre-1960's medicine in its approach. First, observe and take vitals, record abnormalities, and determine treatment based off a database of knowledge. This is specifically different from today’s medicine approach which involves expensive equipment and lab tests.
Let me tell you what the schedule looked like.
7:00am - wake up and eat breakfast
8:00am - chapel with old-fashioned hymns (my favorite!) and a devotional by Equip’s founder Rev. Barrie Flitcroft. (always exceptional!)
Next in is class - usually a lecture and a PowerPoint, followed by hands on experience and practice, practice, practice.
Then after dinner we work on our case studies till around 10:00pm. The case studies are notes from our class creator and manual maker Dr. Mary Vanderkooi, which have been personal cases for the most part from Dr Vanderkooi's missionary experiences. She records the full body examination of her patient, a urinalysis and some indicative yes or no questioning. Based on this given data we must use the manual to diagnose and treat the patient correctly the first time for 40-50 case studies ranging from Strep Thought and Tonsillitis to Measles and Hemorrhagic Fevers. This was quite emotionally exciting for me. I felt as if I was actually doing something, and I became obsessed with getting the diagnosis right first time every time. It can be crushing when it is measles and not chickenpox.
Let me lay out for you some of what I studied:
Dr. Mary’s extremely brilliant book set
How to do a complete patient assessment and evaluation
Infection, immunization and sanitation
Buy and use medicines
Drug math (extremely important)
Malnutrition (the most heart breaking chapter)
Rehydration (often the main cause of death in common tropical diseases)
Periods and pregnancies
Childbirth (and new respects for mothers)
Pain relief, sedation and muscle relaxation
Soft tissue injuries
Bone and joint injuries
Splint making and spinal injury protection
Burn care and skin grafts
Using field tests
Principles of dentistry and so much, much more
Dr. Mary’s books (Village Medical Manual, 6th edition) are two volumes. Volume I covers policies and procedures; covering the bulk of what to do and how to do it, as well, it is chockfull of graphs and information on things like… how to tell a child’s age from signs, normal vital signs and how to make tools from what you have on hand. The largest book, Volume II, is Diagnosis and Treatments. This is a step by step walk through looking first at symptom protocols. Here you may look up - say… itching red bumps, or wheezing in the lungs, bloody vomit and total body seizures out of a full body system breakdown and a breakdown of all the most common problems that can occur in that system and location. The next index is for Disease. Dr. Mary has had years of field work with numerous tropical ailments and knows what they can look like and manifest as in different regions and races of humanity. You reach this index from the symptoms protocols which for your specific ailment(s) have indicated. This often takes time to look into more than one disease or syndrome. The more time spent and knowledge gleaned the better. This also lists the best, the second, and third best drugs commonly used to treat or fight this disease. The next index is a diagnosis protocol which checks certain disease patterns across others, narrowing down the likelihood of your diagnosis. Then you have regional notes that tell of the likelihood or impossibility of an ailment due to your location.
As usual you learn as much from the fellow missionaries as you do from the actual course. This time we had a nurse from Down Under, and a missionary from Germany, as well as, a Mennonite, a Samaritan’s Purse doctor who works in Haiti, and other notable Christ-centered individuals.
Look to hear from me again soon.
1 Peter 13-16
*Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”*