Health class was about to start. The girls had gathered after lunch and were sitting in class. All of a sudden screams came from the back room. “Help me! Help me!” Laura came out with a very disgusting looking wound sporting a protruding object. Some of the students were so stunned they even ran outside. Thankfully it was all staged; ketchup works well as blood. Dealing with injuries is not often done well among the girls and their families. Even small cuts fester up and become big issues because they have not been cleaned properly. If small injuries are not dealt with well, how about the large ones. When is it worth it to go to the clinic? How should one prepare the wound for a trip to the clinic? What should we not do or apply to the wound?
After the girls settled down following Laura’s excellent role play, Chantelle asked them what they should put on a cut to clean it. Some answers were good, but others thought perfume should be applied, others gasoline and you name it. She explained to them when should you take an object out yourself and when should you seek medical help. She showed them how to protect and stabilize various types of injuries before going to the doctor. One of the most important steps is to wash with clean water, so she demonstrated.
The girls were divided into groups and each given an injury that they had to deal with. Some of their wrapping jobs were not aesthetically pleasing. Nonetheless they did get the idea.
Later Willenke talked about broken bones and answered similar questions as did Chantelle. She showed them how to stabilize for the trip to the hospital depending on the type of break. Some girls thought that pulling on a broken leg is the right thing to do.
In the next class Cecilia talked about what to do about burns. What are the differences between 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns and how should they be dealt with differently. For 1st and 2nd degree burns they need to be washed with clean, cool water. But 3rd degree burns always need medical attention. When the burn passes the skin and turns black it is doctor’s territory. Again, she emphasized that perfume and charcoal should not be rubbed on the burn.
If it’s red, yellow, puffy and warm go to a clinic! Get it clean; keep in clean, don’t let it get dirty! A big emphasis was not to let things get out of hand. If there is an infection the girls were told to visit a doctor. Often injuries are left until the person is pretty much on their death bed and then they want medical help. We think it is important for them to understand that less pain, less expense and less time will be spent if they take something that is at its starting stages.
We hope these lessons are taken to heart. In the next months we plan to take the girls on a field trip to one of the local clinics, explaining to them some of the in’s and out’s. Much of the time going to a clinic is intimidating. Hopefully we can eliminate some of that by showing them what some of the local clinics offer.
And thank you Cecilia, Chantelle, and Willenke for teaching these classes. The girls would have had a real opportunity to provide faint care if I had taught.