This week, over 3 days, approximately 12 hours, 9 providers saw 60 patients with the support of 2 pharmacists, 12 nurses, 2 social workers, and 8 non medical volunteers (two of whom are formerly homeless who now give back by helping us help others).
This is an amazing team, add to it the people donating money and items such as blankets, hand warmers, tents, basic care items…the list goes on and on.
60 patients in 3 days…and it is literally the dead of winter…Some of our visits are not life saving, but are always intended to be life valuing, providing compassionate care for those often marginalized by others.
At times our care saves an ER trip. Last night, we had one of those…we have a patient living on the streets with a foley catheter. We know him well and have worked to coordinate his care with other providers to make sure he is getting the best possible care. He came to me last night and said his catheter was not draining. He changed the bag and still had nothing. When we got him on the bus we could see at just a glance that his abdomen was distended and his catheter not draining. Fortunately, we have sterile catheter supplies and we changed his catheter right there with 1000ml (1Liter) out immediately. He had instant relief (obviously), was happy, smiling, and so grateful to be able to avoid an ER visit. We kept him for a bit, rechecked his vitals, and sent him on his way with extra water and an empty bladder.
He would have not been able to go much longer and my team was so happy to see him better instantly.
In medicine, you do not always see instant results in your treatment, and this, it was easy for us, but it meant the world to him!!!
Thank you for all of my volunteers who go the extra mile, who are there in 10 degree weather, who offer hugs, and medical care without judgement, with smiles, and with genuine care for our patients!!
Thanks to our supporters who cannot be out with us physically, but their donations of supplies and money help us to continue doing what we love while providing dignity and compassionate care to those experiencing poverty and homelessness!