Morocco, Love Volunteers
"I had a six-week internship at Matérnité des Orangers in Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. This was a public hospital providing only obstetrical and gynecological treatment. I rotated through the different services from day to day. For example, one day I might go watch C-sections and monitor vitals for the women in post-op. Another day, I would do nursing rounds and help change bandages and give meds. And another day I might go to the birthing suite and count contractions.
"I got to see how things were different in an under-resourced medical environment. I had to be told to use less hand sanitizer during my first week; there were rarely any normal disposable gloves around; the babies are given no clothing or blankets except for what the mother brings. If a baby needed formula and the family didn’t bring it, we would give it dextrose in a syringe. There were many little cutbacks like this and I was at one of the best public hospitals in the country. I was able to appreciate how good clinical practice is by far the most important factor for patient outcomes.
"And finally I learned about the rich and diverse culture of Morocco and the influence that Islam has on healthcare. My first three weeks there were part of Ramadan when people neither eat or drink during the daylight hours. Women are told they can fast during the third trimester of their pregnancy. I became friends with the medical students who taught me all about the various marriage ceremonies (among many other things). The Moroccans that I met were very kind and generous people and they are why I was able to learn so much from my experience."
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