Ophthamology 101

February 5, 2010

The Eye Field Team consists of 3 people: my boss Bob, Lauren, and myself. Bob’s total years of ophthamology experience: 40+. Lauren’s and mine total combined years of ophthamology experience: 0. Actually, I should say 2 days, because we started training this morning! My position as the coordinator of the team places me in more of an organizational/managerial role, but Bob is eager for all of us to share in the medical work, and I am eager that he is eager. Today we practiced measuring visual acuity, which meant slapping vision charts up on the wall of the dining room and testing each other’s ability to discern which way the E is pointing in decreasing sizes down the page. (Usually charts with varying letters are used, but literacy is not something to assume in West Africa.) This task will be taught to our 7 translators, and they will perform the testing in the field clinics. Next up: ophthalmoscopes!

Laura (pediatric ward RN), Alana, & Sarah (ophthalmic peri-op RN)

And, for your viewing pleasure, three lovely ladies sporting the latest in lifejacket fashion! Today was our second set of emergency drills, meaning what to do if a fire/leak gets so out of hand that we must abandon ship. One surprising bit of boat trivia: since large vessels take a significant amount of time to actually sink, the shrieking alarm does not mean run to the top deck as fast as your sea legs can carry you. Rather, you are to first descend into the ship’s bowels to your cabin to retrieve a pre-packed “emergency bag,” which should include sunscreen, water, a hat, a change of clothing, and something to keep yourself occupied, like a book. After all, sitting in a lifeboat for days and days would make anyone a little bored.


3 Responses to “Ophthamology 101”

  1. Jon said

    What book would you take?

  2. Augustine’s Confessions. (You were hoping for Wednesday is Indigo Blue, weren’t you!) And what would YOU pack, Mr. J?

  3. Mariangela said

    I hope you never have to escape a real sinking ship!!

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