Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Bus

So.... on Mondays and Fridays Arkadelphia Clinic for Children and Young Adults (ACFCYA - that's really our abbreviation - I didn't make that one up) reaches out to some of the more rural areas (they don't even have a Wal-Mart) and sees patients on the Baptist Mobile Health Unit (the bus).

We all take turns, so I only go two days a month. We start clinic in Gurdon in the morning, which is about 15-20 miles away. We set up in the parking lot behind the library, next to Sonic. I'm told that if it's really slow, some of my partners will check out a smut novel from the library; so far I've relied on home improvement magazines and So Doku. After morning clinic we drive down to Prescott (another 15-20 miles down the road) to go out to eat; Lorie, my nurse, and I always outvote Bob, the bus driver, who usually suggests one of the local truck stops or a diner with a plate lunch (last week's special was hamburger casserole). Last Friday we ate at the Flamingo Grill in Prescott. After lunch we either sit in one of the little courtyards in downtown Prescott or take a nap on the bus at the park. Bob has a sign that he tapes to the door that states, "WiLL NoT OpEn 'tiL 1 PM." Prescott clinic was previously held at one of the local churches, but now the bus parks beneath some trees at the park, where there is more shade. Well one time we did have to park at the church because the Chicken & Egg Festival was being held at the park. Prescott clinic is usually busier than Gurdon.

The bus is a pretty neat set up for a clinic. Patients sign in and wait on benches on either side of the bus. The counter will have paper work, charts, meds, and supplies. The allergy shots are kept in the fridge next to the sink. There is a bathroom on the right, and then in the back is a separate "exam room" which has this huge, weird, rotating exam table. If we are busy or if the chief complaint is something sensitive, I'll use the back room, but if people are just trickling in I usually start taking my history and examining the child as they are being checked in.

One day last week the "crapper" (not my words) had gotten too full, so Bob decided to drain the tank - in the parking lot. Fortunately, it was towards the end of the morning. Unfortunately, their was a leak in the hose Bob was using to drain the tank, and he got waste water on his pants and shoes. He had to call his wife to come pick him up, so he could change clothes.

I've considered getting my Commercial Driver's License, that way I could drive the bus and practice medicine, but then I thought, "there's no way I'm emptying the 'crapper'."

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