Day 3 in paradise:
Today we had the opportunity to meet up once again with Andrea Linden and Eugene. They took us to two different nursing homes. At both nursing homes we were met by Dr. Mitchel who is a podiatrist. She taught and trained each of us how to do a diabetic foot evaluation. Essentially, what we were doing was testing the status of individuals with diabetes feet. We felt for warmth, touched for temperature, made observations about color and finally tested for sensation by touching the individual’s feet in 10 different spots with fishing wire. As a nursing student I never get the opportunity to do care with diabetes clients feet. I enjoyed this unique opportunity to work and do something hands on. We also tested each diabetic patient’s blood glucose levels and recorded it for the nursing homes in the patient’s chart. Dr. Mitchel was a pleasure to work with and she showed me how to trim and care for nails that are thick and overgrown. Honestly their feet were pretty gross looking but I have seen worse. That was a quick little recap of the day!
The first nursing home we visited was Peris Rodgers. They currently house about 22 or 23 patients (I can’t remember the exact number). The one room that I was able to see was very small and had three beds in it. What I liked most about Peris Rodgers was that the older adults spent a lot of time outside. In the states most nursing home residents move from their room to dinning room and then back again. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly! I love older adults in general and meeting new people. At first I was nervous doing the foot exams because I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. However, it is one of those things that just requires you to jump in and just do it which is what all of us did. We spent about over an hour here and made sure every diabetic patient was examined and had their blood glucose tested.
The second nursing home, Good Samaritan Ministry International, was a lot different than the first. When we first walked into the entry way it was heavily decorated and looked rather fancy compared to the outside of the building. Beyond that point there were no decorations and plain white walls. They had a few private patient rooms and then two large rooms. Each large room had about 10 plus people sharing the same living space. It was way too congested for my liking and made me sad. I did not see any of their things such as memorabilia or room for their own personal space. Both these nursing homes are very different from what you see in the states. It appeared to me that most of the residents stayed in their bed/chair and all sat around and watched tv all day long. I do not know if there were other options for activities but it seemed rather boring for them.
I enjoyed seeing each nursing home and being able to compare them to the nursing homes I have worked at as a nursing student. From a nursing perspective I also enjoyed being exposed to more diabetics with foot issues and being able to see what I learn about in my textbooks. Overall we learned a lot today and where able to have our first real interaction with people that have diabetes here in the Bahamas.
FREEEEEEE TIMEEEEEE!!! After our work at the nursing homes we had a couple hours of free time. I honestly had such a fun time today. Everyone in the Bahamas is so friendly and kind. After you meet someone and chat it is like you have been friends with them your whole life. Networking is a big part of their culture and I appreciate how kind and welcoming Bahamians are. I was able to explore the straw market and purchase all my gifts for friends and family. I was also happy that I was able to barter down a bag that was originally $30 to $13. It is definitely an experience trying to get what you want for less money. As a group we ended up making friends wherever we went and had great conversations. We also went to what is known as the “Fish Fry.” It is basically a strip with lots of fish houses/ restaurants that is very popular.
It is hard to write about every single detail but I hope this gave you a little glimpse into our day!!!