El Salvador 2012 trip diary: Second clinical day

By Ruthann Marquis
Portland, OR

Today was our second clinical day with PINCC, in a location they have yet to have the opportunity to work. We traveled to Soyapango, a distance outside of San Salvador, to work in another clinic that strongly served women´s and community health and was an urgent care facility at night, thus giving 24 hour care. The teams of teachers and students are getting more cohesive and the day overall was smoother and more productive. We didn’t let a little earthquake slow us down, as we felt only a small shake compared to what Mexico and Guatemala experienced in the late morning. Some of us even saw El Salvador’s national bird, the torogos, outside a window where it sat on a tree limb for the length of two different patient visits.

In all we saw 65 women today. For some this was their first screening although they were in their mid 60s. Some patients had been sexually abused before the age of 10. After their screening, many received the good news of “adequate and negative” (meaning cancer-free), and left with the self-confidence to take a step toward taking better care of themselves, and ultimately their families.

I know that all of us on this trip are happy to be here to lend PINCC a hand with their amazing work and yet also equally grateful for our own health care options back home. Peace!