Today we spent the morning at an orphanage. They provide a place for boys to live, pay for their schooling or teach them other training, and take care of their health needs. We performed otoscopy and pure tone screenings on the boys. In the afternoon, we went to a school and screened the first grade students. After performing otoscopy, we tried using pure tone screening with the children. Many of the children had difficulty completing this task, so we performed OAE testing instead. To end our day, we took a tour of Beit Cure Hospital.
The orphanage was an amazing experience. My task at the orphanage was to perform otoscopy. I was surprised by the number of cerumen impactions (excess ear wax) referrals that were made. It was a great feeling to see how excited the children were to see us. I also enjoyed interacting with the Beit Cure staff that accompanied us. They took time to explain different abnormalities that can be found in the ear.
My favorite part of the day was performing pure tone screening at the school. I used pure tone and OAE testing on the children. This experience taught me that it is very important to be flexible when performing screenings. For example, at times the room was very loud which made testing OAE difficult. It was important to wait for quieter environment. Also many of the children did not understand that they needed to raise their hand after hearing a series of beeps. Using large gestures helped explain the instructions because some of the children did not understand English. We often tried to condition the child multiple times so we could get accurate results. I was surprised how many of the children needed a referral. Out of eleven children that I tested three did not pass the hearing screening. I am glad they were screened at an early age so that they can get the help they need to develop normally.
We ended the day with a tour of Beit Cure hospital. It was very interesting to learn how the hospital operates. For example, children under the age of eighteen with neurological or orthopedic needs can be seen for free. They also offer other services such as ENT appointments for a minimal cost. For wealthier patients, they offer a private ward that costs one hundred dollars a day. I loved meeting the staff and seeing the different units in the hospital. I look forward to observing and interacting with them later this week. I was very impressed with the amount of outreach support Beit Cure offers. Since transportation is a major limiting factor to accessing health care treatment, Beit Cure sends an ENT truck to remote areas that may not be able to reach the hospital. In addition, Beit Cure provides a great environment for patients. The walls are very colorful and have drawings such as butterflies and Winnie the Pooh. They also have handicap ramps for patients that would have a difficult time with steps. The courtyard is well maintained to promote a positive healing experience. The rooms are all very clean and inviting. I am excited to see more of the hospital later this week.