When I went to college, one of the best decisions that I made was to find myself a good lab partner. Someone who could measure and use the equipment and actually found it interesting to work with machines. I enjoyed lab more for the people and the social atomosphere of working around a table than what we were actually doing and my least favorite labs were the ones dealing with microbiology and cells. I could tell you each person that I worked with in lab, yet I am pressed to even remember 10 labs that I did although it is where I spent two or three afternoons a week for four years.
Yet I am thankful for these times because it has at least given me a stepstool into an area that I have been helping with – setting up the lab. We have had a few machines that have been working part of the time to test blood for different conditions. But as the hospital becomes a reality, the lab part of the hospital will be more and more important. The doctors have created a wish list of what they would like to be able to do. And I have researched and called and emailed providers within country to see how we can acquire the machines and tests to be able to do these procedures. Listening to Spanish on the phone and using a vocabulary of words that you don’t even know in English has been a challenge, but it looks like we are moving in the right direction.
Honestly, I have had a few frustrations as my brain and skill set are not gifted in the area of machines. I currently have been working on this machine for over a month trying to figure out how to get the belt to pick up the disc so that it can be read. In the process another machine went down. And so, if there is a biotech out there or someone who loves troubleshooting machines or lab work, I would more than welcome your help.
The goal in the next month is to move from this lab
To this lab
Where there are obviously more electrical outlets, space and light.
The lab is not just a large need for the hospital, but the community as a whole. Currently many of the schools and the governmental health clinics require lab tests to enter programs or receive treatment. If patients want to proceed, they have to pay for transportation to and from Quiche which is a two hour drive away. Plus they have to pay for their tests, etc. And they have to hope that these machines work. They will have to pay with us as well, but it is our hope that the tests will be available and accessible to the community as well.
And so little by little, each room of the hospital becomes a reality.