Saturday, September 3, 2016

Wrapping up our volunteer work.

Wednesday morning was our last day of volunteer work. We headed out to the same community that we visited on Monday morning however, instead of going to a school, we went to the senior center to do hearing screenings. Upon arrival, we noticed that the room was very large, with high ceilings, but we were able to use the office to perform the testing. We screened about 25 people, all of whom had some degree of hearing loss.  Therefore, we focused on counseling them about communication strategies, such as clear speech, and made referrals to get their ears cleaned by the local ENT. Many of the seniors that we helped were very appreciative and excited that we were there. This screening completed our volunteer work through Vive Peru!

Clare and one of the community members

This is the first year we were able to perform hearing screenings in the community

Shannon performing otoscopy

After lunch, we headed to the Vive Peru office to meet with Rachel so that we could review the past two weeks and plan for upcoming projects. We had discussed, as a team, our thoughts about the program over lunch so that we were prepared to communicate our ideas with Rachel. She was very open to our feedback and she helped us brainstorm new ideas and plans for next year’s trip. After seeing that the seminar’s audience primarily consisted of ENTs, primary care physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, we were all interested in working more with them and gaining a better understanding about hearing health in Peru and how a person is 1) diagnosed with a hearing loss and 2) the treatment plan for the person.  Recognizing the importance of this, our hope is that it will result in a sit down with Peruvian health professionals in order to expand our knowledge about the resources available to those with hearing loss in Peru and subsequently be implemented for our visit next year.

Since this was the first year we performed hearing screenings, we were able to review the tests and examine the results, unlike previous visits that solely focused on hearing education.  We discussed, with Rachel, the possibility of following up with the patients that did not pass the initial screenings and why this was important.  There are several resources we could access through Vive Peru, that could be useful in carrying our this goal next year and we are looking forward to exploring their implementation into our work.  As we continue to work with Vive Peru, it is our hope to continue to expand upon the work and the services we can provide. We have many goals for next year's trip and are excited to start working on them this fall!!!

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