So this weekend I went to my first medical mission trip to Piedra Negras, Mexico.
A group of 30 volunteers, some health professional students, some official health professionals, and volunteers with yearning hearts to help traveled right across the border to Piedras Negras to a small community nicknamed the “Railroad Neighborhood”.
There we served the community by applying sealants to the children’s teeth to help protect their teeth and there was also an opportunity to meet with the doctors if we thought we could help with the limited medications we had. Overall, we applied sealant to 200+ children and filled over 200 prescriptions.
We had two dental hygenists who applied sealants to the children as well as a student to assist. We also hadnurses and students doing vital signs, such as temperature, weight, height, blood pressure, and blood glucose while pharmacy students ran the pharmacy filling, verifying, and counseling to patients. And believe it or not, I actually had to use a lot of my knowledge (not the computer verifying!) to figure out dosing and if it was appropriate for the patient.
As I grow up, I realized how privileged I really am. When I was in high school, I was able to attend an inner city mission trip within Houston, helping those in need around the city. When I attended UCHOP, I was able to serve those who cannot afford medical care by serving at the HOMEs clinic. And now I was able to serve those in need who are often overlooked in a small town in Mexico.
Many people thought it was dangerous to go, and yes, we had to take the necessary precautions before we arrived. If you are interested in attending a future trip, please contact me! If you would like to serve the community using the skills and knowledge you have but are uneasy about going, it is understandable but remember there are many people around you that could use your help and many opportunities to do so (like HOMEs!) so please seek them out :)