Wow, to say the least.
this experience shows just how far that western medicine has developed, changed and improved on that which is still prevalent in the Indian Healthcare system, of which i saw in the hospital in Palampur. As a final year uni student studying a Bachelor of Nursing and Paramedicine it was the best experience that gave me the exposure that none of my fellow students will have the opportunity to see before graduation and eventually their professional careers and i believe it will put me as a cut above the rest.
It was a real eye opener to see some of the older-school practices being performed that left Western Medicine in the late 60s.
However, this opportunity was exactly what i had hoped for, an insight to the healthcare of a poorer society that attempts to achieve both the best result for the patient, while cutting the most corners to minimise cost, a very fine line.
This program is not for the weak hearted or the weak stomached. I watched a dozen or so people have an endoscopy performed, with no sedation what so ever. Each and everyone of these patients gagged and gurgled with unrelenting precision of the instument from the doctor this he had achieved what he was out to do. words can not describe the image of someone who has a metre long instrument jammed down their throat til they throw up again and again and again. I cannot stress enough, it is not a program for the weak of stomach.
HOWEVER, this program also provided a real insight to the disease and treatment of third world people and their conditions, it was fantastic to see and something i will never forget and i will even alter my practice as a health care practitioner.
Also, to be immersed in the midst of a rural town an stepping into the shoes of the locals, their travelling to town and work, the market place, THE FOOD, was something that you would not get travelling by other means, volunteering was the best experience I've had to date and if you are looking for a getaway, this would be the place I dreamt about at night and after experience, i still dream of it.