News: Barahona better and better
Story by Sgt. Lindsey Schulte
BARAHONA, Dominican Republic - By May 21, just three days after opening, the U.S. and partnering nation members of the Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE) clinic out of Escuela Inicial y Basica Batey Cinco in Barahona, Dominican Republic have drastically improved the flow of patients and reduced arguments among them.
The MEDRETE is conducted as part of the Beyond the Horizon 2014 mission to provide medical care for the local residents of Barahona.
Patients had gathered in crowds outside the fence and in the classrooms used for exam rooms until MEDRETE personnel reorganized patient processing.
“We eliminate the waiting room and put the chairs out front,” said 1st Lt. Isavelita V. Goodearly, a native of Milpitas, Calif., with the 352nd Combat Support Hospital Bravo Company out of Camp Parks in Dublin, Calif.
Then the patients waited in the chairs, but the person sitting in the first chair was not always the one waiting the longest. This caused some turbulence with the Dominican Republic patients. Creating a numbering order seemed to be the solution.
“We write a number on their sheet because people try to cut in line. With the numbers they can't do that,” said U. S. Army Maj. Jax P. Baylosis from Hayward, Calif., with the 185th Dental Company out of Vallejo Calif., attached to the 352nd for the MEDRETE.
To assure as many ailing citizens as possible get treatment, the patients are limited to one service per day. After they are treated, the patients’ hand is marked with permanent marker to prevent the same patient from being seen twice.
Another way doctors spend more time with patients is having exam rooms pre-package and store common medications.
“Doctors have medications so they don't have to run to the pharmacy,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Jessica R. “Plus One” Polubinsky, with the 410th Medical Logistics Company out of Milwaukee, Wis.
Setting up a separate station where Polubinsky takes the patient's vitals is another way the clinic preserves doctors time. The pediatrics ward took a different route to reduce time.
“To speed up the process we go straight for 'what are your symptoms?' and we treat them,” said Goodearly, registered nurse for the pediatrics room.
This MEDRETE clinic has improved their procedures every day in order to treat the most Dominican Republic citizens as possible before they close May 23.