Saturday, October 10, 2009

I volunteer on a mobile health van

I started volunteering a few weeks ago on Harvard Medical School's Family Van. Since 1992, the van has provided health education, screening, and prevention services, as well as referrals to medical and social service agencies to an estimated 50,000 of Boston's most vulnerable and underserved residents.

It's a really amazing experience, and I get to do a lot of real medical stuff--take blood pressure, check blood sugar (with a lancet finger prick), glacuoma screenings, and more. It's a lot of hands on work, and interacting with real live patients.

Yesterday during my 3 hour shift, I discussed with various patients all the different medications they're on. Here's my list of what I managed to write down.

1. Simvastatin: used to treat high cholestorol. Used to be called Zocor.
2. Diovan: used to treat hypertension.
3. Hydrochlorothiazide (hctz): hypertension drug; one of the longest on the market.
4. Atenolol: to treat hypertension, a beta-blocker.
5. Lisinopril: another medication to treat hypertension.
6. Norvasc: another anti-hypertensive.
7. Lipitor: to lower cholesterol.
8. Crestor: to treat high cholesterol.
9. Metformin: to treat diabetes
10. Lavoxyl: treats thyroid problems.

And in other news: Mom is acquitted finally! Read about it in the Maui News.