Throughout the semester, I have carried out research projects aimed at nurturing my skills on narrative reporting. The skill of writing narrative essays is important to every literature student. It forms the basis of delivering report in first persons perspective. I have practiced this skill over and over through private studies, and I now believe that I have the necessary knowledge on developing a narrative essay based on actual findings from a report on a specific topic. The numerous courses on English I had previously covered during my time at the university also proved useful. To confirm this, I have decided to carry out research on Saline County Health Department and develop a report based on the findings. The purpose of this essay is to identify the emergent themes from the data collected and write a narrative of the experience.
Saline County Health Department is a medical facility which provides various medical services for the residents of Saline County. The facility is located at 1612 Edison Avenue Benton AR 72015. Apart from offering services like cancer and HIV screening, the department also provides diagnostic and treatment services for communicable diseases. To carry out this research, I had first to book an appointment. My appointment was scheduled on 11/3/2017 in the afternoon. Jane, a young medical practitioner, was to guide me through the whole process. I informed the management of the department on how important the research was to my course. My end-semester results depend on this report, so I had to do my best to achieve better results.
I reached the department headquarters at precisely a quarter past noon and was warmly received by Jane, a registered nurse at the hospital who was to act as my instructor through the entire process. I will also have the chance to interview her and get the essential information relevant to my study. My research was not specific, but I was interested in the general survey of the emerging trends in the sector. I was confident in encountering new ideas that would interest me. Jane was a kind and warm-hearted lady and was intrigued by her ingenuity. I checked my notes to confirm the first topic of discussion. The first question to her was on the mission and vision of the hospital. She asserts that mission of the hospital is to protect and improve the health and well-being of residents of Saline County. "Our vision is the desire for optimal health for residents of Saline County to achieve an all-out personal, economic, and social significance," explains Jane. I asked Jane about the actions they were taking to achieve their mission and vision. Firstly, she asserts that the hospital over the years has been regulating its costs for service delivery depending on one's income and federal poverty guidelines. For instance, those living below the poverty line are not charged the same as the wealthy. It is also the same in the case of middle-class patients. They are not charged the equal amount fee as the wealthy. She also adds that the hospital offers scholarship programs for bright students. The lucky ones are chosen to study in some of the prestigious medical schools in the country. Jane is such individual. She is one of the many students who has benefited from the scholarship programs. Once they finish their course, they stand a better chance of getting chosen to work for the hospital just like Jane.
The second part of the process involved identification of the critical services offered by the hospital. According to my notes, I was supposed to ask the respondent to identify the vital services they provide to their patients. Saline County Health Department boasts of having some of the best family planning services in the country. Therefore, I chose the function as the second theme of our discussion. According to Jane, the hospital offers some of the best family planning services in Arkansas. She jokes that the residents of Saline County only have to get pregnant and the department will take of the rest. She further adds that family planning if appropriately conducted guarantees safer pregnancies. Our family planning program provides access to more reliable, acceptable, and efficient birth control methods. Such methods include abstinence and natural family planning procedures. Saline County Health Department offers family planning services for both males and females. Some of the vital family planning services provided by the institution include regular physical examination, HIV screening and counseling, cancer screening, STI testing, pregnancy testing, blood pressure examination, testicular examination, anemia testing, and other kinds of medical assistance. Jane proceeds by stating that the cost of the services is not static but regulating depending on one's income and the requirements of federal poverty guidelines. Also, the hospital management requires that patients carry with them a statement of gross annual income of the family and a copy of immunization record. I was intrigued by the procedures for service delivery of the department. According to my perspective, I think the many documentation processes may put the life of a patient at risk especially in the case of an emergency. To acquire more on how the medics deal with this issue, I engaged Jane in a one-on-one interview. Below is the discussion.
Researcher: How do you deal with the issue of documentation and effectiveness of service delivery in an emergency case?
Respondent: In special cases such as accidents or heart attack, the personnel is advised to ignore the documentation procedures and proceed with treatment procedures.
Researcher: What if the case does not require immediate medical attention but the patient is in a lot of pain or suffering?
Respondent: In some cases, we may decide to be lenient to the patient and offer treatment. However, the patient must produce his or her particulars before being discharged.
After the interview, Jane took me to the department of family planning to better understand what she was trying to explain. The rooms were equipped with modern medical facilities. Patient wards are clean and tidy with empty beds well spread. I could see cancer screening machines and X-ray scanners. I was intrigued by the level of technological advancement the department has reached. I was mystified by the level of modernity of the hospital. After taking a look at the equipment, the next step was to proceed to the next theme.
Pregnancy testing was the next theme according to my list. Jane explains that the hospital incorporates the latest pregnancy testing technology in their system. The clinic provides pregnancy testing at a fee. However, low-income patient enjoys the benefit of being transferred to the WIC program where they can access nutritious food for themselves and their babies. This program ensures that both the mother and her baby are in good and stable health. Apart from that, the hospital also provides an opportunity for pregnant mothers to participate in the Mother and Infant program. By participating in the process, they are supplied with nutrients, minerals, and multivitamins essential for the development of the fetus. "Doctors recommend that pregnant mothers get 400 micrograms of folic acid every day," she adds. The reason for this is attributed to the ability of folic acid to prevent some severe types of congenital disabilities. It is also a healthy way to begin prenatal vitamins before becoming pregnant. Janet assures me that the pregnancy testing procedures are of latest standard and are recommended by the National Health Agency. After a brief discussion on pregnancy testing services, we decided to take a 20 minutes break.
After the break, we proceeded to the next theme, that is, the testing of sexually transmitted infections. According to Jane, Saline County Health Department has standard and sophisticated equipment for testing STI's. The department concentrates on STI's like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Apart from causing infertility in women, the diseases also increase the risk of contracting HIV. Jane also adds that a study conducted in 2007 indicated that there were 8,210 cases of Chlamydia, 2,289 cases of Gonorrhea, and 53 Syphilis cases in that year alone. However, with the introduction of new screening and testing equipment, she believes the numbers are much lower as compared to 2007. Saline County Health Department also tests for other STI's like Syphilis, Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B, and HPV. Such infections if left untreated for an extended period may cause genital warts or cervical cancer. I was perplexed when I learned from Jane that patients suffering from bacterial infections were liable to free medication if tested positive. After the discussion, I was taken to a room containing equipment and machines for testing and screening different types of Sexually Transmitted Infections. The devices are modern and sophisticated. They might have cost a lot of money to acquire. However, Jane confirmed that most were from the budget of the federal government in its quest on the fight against STI's.
After the discussion, Jane proceeded immediately to the next theme, that is, HIV Counselling and Testing services. My instructor reminded me of the importance of knowing our status and that of our partner. According to her, HIV is a scourge which should be fought off the society by all means to ensure posterity of the future generation. Once a patient has availed himself or herself for testing, the medical staff assesses his or her risk of infection and discuss the ways to protect oneself from contracting HIV. Testing for HIV is done for a fee, and test results are available after one to two weeks. The test results are confidential. Also, one must book an appointment to create time for testing. There is a certified staff accredited to carry out counseling to those tested positive. The staff is discreet and any information discussed remains confidential.
Apart from HIV Testing and Counselling services, Saline County Health Department also carries out immunizations for all ages. The hospital's immunization program is a success as the young and old have turned up in large numbers to get immunized. The program provides immunization for children and adults in the form of flu shots, foreign travel immunizations, and health counseling. The idea of foreign travel immunization was new information to my ears. Therefore, I asked Jane to expound on the issue while I took notes. She began by using rhetoric. Assuming you are planning a trip outside the country, are you aware of health risks you are susceptible to when you reach your destination? Do you know if certain vaccinations will be needed? Are you conscious on how to protect yourself from food, air, and water-borne diseases? I found myself reminiscing on the questions and developing their answers in my head. Through the questions, I was able to understand the significance of getting immunized against certain infections before traveling overseas. My respondent further explains that even though immunization is essential to one's health, the vaccines are manufactured according to the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control. She also tells that it is not only foreign travelers who are advised to be immunized before leaving the country but also travelers within the country are advised to do the same. The drug against malaria prophylaxis is the most commonly administered vaccine to travelers within the United States. Appointments for immunization often last thirty minutes to one hour per person. This allows enough time to carry out discussion on the concerns and to complete official documentation, and lastly to administer the vaccine. According to Jane, the hospital administers immunization for at least fifteen disease and infection types such as Hepatitis A and B, NMR, Polio, Rabies...
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