November 2nd, 2015 was a life changing experience for us. It was our first day at the clinic! Today tested our strength, knowledge, communication and pharmacy skills unlike any other experience thus far. We, three 6th year pharmacy students, along with our preceptor, Dr. Gim, as well as other pharmacists, doctors, and dentists took an hour drive through the rural streets of Solola, Guatemala to our clinic setting. It started out as an empty building, but after just a few hours turned into a clinic, which allowed for the collaboration of health care professionals from all over the world. Our concern before we arrived was if it was going to be possible to communicate with the people of Guatemala so they can be provided with the best health care possible. Thankfully, we had several translators who spoke English, Spanish and Kiche.
After countless hours of hard work and fundraising it was nice to see the outcome was worth it. We set up a pharmacy from scratch using only tables and bookshelves to hold what seemed like an endless amount of medications. We were told many times by practitioners who had been on this mission previously that this was the most medication the pharmacy team had ever brought
When the day first began we thought the class of medication that would be dispensed most would be antibiotics, but to our surprise as the day progressed we dispensed more multivitamins, analgesics and antacids as opposed to anything else.
The first day was a total success, bringing in double the number of patient’s compared to last year’s first day. We worked well past sundown, forcing us to use the dental teams head flashlights to allow us to process prescriptions. We were not going to leave until every patient had their medications, making us as the last department to finish.