Medical work experience in Costa Rica - July 2012
16 August 2012
Pupils from Oakham School and Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls undertook medical and dental work experience in Central Valley region of Costa Rica this Summer. The first project was a health campaign in a local town which involved measuring presion arterial and indicie de masa corporal of members of the local public in Santa Barbara, including casa por casa visits in the Barva area. Pupils worked with elderly residents on a regular basis and assisted with physiotherapy sessions for disabled adults arranged by a local GP. The practice also arranged for pupils to learn to prepare intravenous drips and a local dentist made her surgery available for observation. A major part of the trip involved working as voluntarios at the Unidad de Cuidados Paliativos (UCP - hospice) in Alajuela with terminally ill patients and accompanying the psychologist, doctor and nurse on house visits. All communication with patients was undertaken in Spanish - a real challenge! During the trip, los chicos found time to ‘zip line’ through the world famous forest canopy, trek to the imposing Arenal and Poas volcans and seek out the astonishing array of wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park, finishing with a welcome swim at the fabulous beach within the park area. Lessons on the Spanish language, local frutas, Costa Rican cooking and Latin dancing were an integral part of the venture! All pupils on the trip hope to study medicine / dentistry at university so we were all grateful to the healthcare professionals who supervised the work experience, especially the Director and staff of UCP. We would also like to thank our excellent expedition leader and his colleagues at Gap Force of London for managing the trip, as well as Senor y Senora Campos in whose house in San Pedro we stayed for the three week visit: the arroz y frijoles were delicious and their hospitality overwhelming.
Dr Andrew Nicoll
Diana Rodriguez; Dr Luis Rodriguez; Dra Natalia Viquez; Dra Carolina Hidalgo; Dennis Torres; Myles Barrett; Rodrigo and Virginia Campos; Victoria Rouse.