Skills practice & Williamson Culture Day
This morning, we woke up and were downstairs in the hotel kitchen in time for breakfast. I didn’t get to the kitchen until 7:55, but to my surprise, all of the students were already there playing UNO since 7am. Since some of them were late to breakfast yesterday, they made sure that they’d definitely be on time today.
Breakfast consisted of toaster waffles, fruit, and cereal. Then, we went upstairs to the hotel conference room to start the day’s training. Students received lectures on how to communicate with patients and how to take temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate, height/weight/BMI, and blood glucose levels using the A1C test. They also practiced these skills with Monica and Angela.
Following the morning’s lectures and skill practice, we had a quesadilla lunch and then headed out to the community health clinic to hear a talk by the town’s ex-mayor, who is now in charge of the clinic. He talked about many initiatives that he took to try to improve health and the well-being of the members of Williamson’s community. As a politician and community activist, he was one of many to help design health initiatives for the town including biweekly 5K races, a marathon, walking paths, community gardens, and a farmers’ market, among others.
He also gave us a quick tour around the town and talked about the history of segregation, illegal activity, and drug abuse in the town. This town has been through a lot of hardships, but recently it has many people supporting it, helping it to grow into a better place to live.
Next on our town tour, we made our way to the Coal House, which is the Chamber of Commerce combined with the town’s tourist center. There, a young man taught us about the history about the town, such as the fact that the town has flooded three times throughout its history and in 2011 the coal house caught on fire and almost burned down. We also learned the reason for the Coal House’s name – it’s made of coal! Go figure.
We finished up the evening with dinner prepared by a local woman – roast beef, potatoes and green beans, along with some instant miso soup left by a previous group. After reflection, the students went to 7-Eleven to pick up some snacks and drinks and then retired to bed to get a good rest for tomorrow’s first clinic and home visits.