Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This is what we call preventive care

Yesterday, my dad and I went to The Way Home's office to continue our volunteer efforts.  The organization runs a kindergarden daycare type service for low income families out of their main office.  The children get dropped off daily by their care givers and spend the day playing under adult supervision, having regular meals, and taking naps.  Yesterday, however, they were in for a special treat - a primary care examination!

My dad getting the exams started

I could tell by the look on the kids faces that many of them had never really seen a doctor before.  It was definitely fun to introduce them to the world of medicine.  They especially loved to tuning fork, the noise it made and the vibrations it produced.  After walking me through the first couple of examinations as he did them, my dad let me take over.  I started by introducing myself, and then checking their mouths, ears, noses and eyes with my otolaryngoscope.  Then I listened for abnormal heart and lung sounds.  I used the tuning fork to check for hearing loss, and degenerative nerve problems.  I then asked them to stand so I could check their spines for Scoliosis.  We checked their limbs, palpated their bellies (which was always funny for them) and used the reflex hammer to check their deep tendon reflexes.

heart sounds

Brachioradialis reflex

Scoliosis check

Checking the nose

Is one side louder?

He got a "kick" out of this!

Checking the limbs

Checking out those teeth and mouth

He wasn't too sure about this one

For the most part, we did not find any serious concerns.  The biggest problem we saw was poor dental hygiene - so some children did have slightly inflamed nodules under their jaws.  My dad speculated this was normal considering the lymphatic system was likely just trying to work out the tooth infections these children faced.  In the future, it would be amazing to pair up with a dentist and come back to treat the myriad of dental issues I have seen.

After the examinations were all complete, we made balloon chickens out of gloves and gave them to the children.  I always used to love it when my dad made them for me, so I am happy to be returning the favor now as an adult.

Group shot with the children and their chickens!

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