Monday, January 25, 2010

Cultural Competency

Today at Worlds Greatest Childrens Hospital I had my very first patient, an adorable 5 year old who only a spoke chinese dialect, and whose parents didn't speak english either. This may have contributed to the fact that this was her THIRD trip to said hospital in the past three weeks for asthma. THIS time, someone actually admitted her, and did a screening. She has RSV (its a virus that causes flulike and chest-cold symptoms in little kids. pretty much everyone gets it at some point or another, 80 percent of us before age 2) as well as her asthma. THIS time, REAL translators were brought in (hard to get them down in the ED on short notice for her dialect of chinese). Her parents were painstakingly taught about how to care for her asthma, and it was impressed upon her father that he MUST stop smoking in the house. Hope he takes THAT one to heart.

She was a BEAUTIFUL little girl, and HATED it when people used stethoscopes on her without her help. To "help" she would grab the bell end of the stethoscope, and move it across her chest. Thing is, she did it RIGHT, unerringly moving it to the exact spot I wanted. What a pro. I had the interpreter tell her she should study hard to be a nurse or doctor herself someday.

I hope life treats her well, she's due to be released tonight.

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