Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good Evening from Belize!

My name is Taylor Forns, and I am a senior double major in biology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. I am here in Belize as a member of the nursing group. Part of the reason why I chose to spend my final spring break in college before starting the arduous journey through medical school next year was due to the volunteering I have done since 2012 at the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center, where I serve as a translator for Spanish-speaking patients that work at Churchill Downs. One of the providers at the clinic, Dr. Whitney Nash, is in charge of the nursing cohort for the ISLP trip to Belize and convinced me that it would be the single best spring break I could have ever imagined. Oh how right she was! Today, I worked in the dental clinic during the afternoon, where I was able to assist the dental students in their work. One gentleman from Honduras made his way to the clinic after his wife suggested he should be seen by the dentist. Unable to speak English (only Spanish), he showed up, but luckily I was there to translate for him and the dental student that worked on him. His graciousness for not only my help, but the dental student's work, was incredible and refreshing. The people I work with at the racetrack clinic in Louisville are always thankful as well, but they have the opportunity to be seen by a healthcare provider every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; my friend from Honduras only had this opportunity once a year if his job on the banana plantation allowed for it. The field of global healthcare, be it medicine or dentistry, is such a gratifying practice, one that I hope to continue as a physician. My experience today will be one that I can reflect on daily as a healthcare professional and know that when I am able to help others, be it by giving them medicine or providing an avenue for them to communicate with somebody else through translation, my service can profoundly affect a person's life and his or her community.

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