Indian Health Service (IHS) Rotation – Part 1

I’ve copied and pasted a journal I kept during my IHS rotation. I’ve removed a few sentences and changed the dates b/c I want to remain anonymous. I hope you enjoy the pics b/c they are magnificent.

IHS Journal

Friday, xx/01/xx
I’m stuck in Denver, CO because my flight from Denver to Durango got cancelled. It’s not bad though. United Airlines is sticking me in the Marriot Hotel until my next flight. I have to admit the Marriot is one of the nicer hotels I’ve stayed in.

Oh, for some reason, the bible people popped up in my head so I decided to look in all the drawers. Haha, I found the King James Version of the Bible.

Saturday, xx/02/xx
Flying to Durango.

Sunday, xx/03/xx
My kind guests showed me some pretty places at the Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. It is beautiful. The whole state of Colorado is beautiful in general. It is very different from the flashy and overcrowded places like New York and Las Vegas. Here I am on some various hiking trails around Fort Lewis College which is about 1 mile above sea elevation. From here are various photos of the horizon and downtown Durango.

I left in the early afternoon to travel to my IHS site on Navajo Territory. You know, it’s not as desolate as I thought. There are a bunch of restaurants around and even a medium-sized grocery store. The only thing I don’t see are young, attractive women, hehe. The free housing I’m at is pretty decent. It’s like a house. There are three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room. Furniture, microwave, fridge, laundry, and dryer are provided. There’s suppose to be a TV but I don’t see one. Oh yea, there is also no Internet . . . Overall though, I’m pretty satisfied. I thought I would be in a small room having to share the bathroom with the whole floor. But this is just like renting a house. Well, I need to finish unpacking and then sleep. Tomorrow I start my rotation . . .

Sat xx/09/xx

Today was an enjoyable day. My rotation partners and I left our place at around 8am. We went to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Basically the park consisted of cliff dwellings. These houses were carved into the rock by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Overall, Mesa Verde was decent. It was nice to see these dwellings that were etched into the face of the mountain. Also, the guided tours were a good workout. My complaint was that the park rangers who guided the tours talked too much, though. I could have admired the dwellings in 20 minutes instead of an hour.

After Mesa Verde we went to an Indian Casino. First I had only $20 on me. Playing $5 blackjack, I lost all 20 bucks in 4 straight hands. Then I did something I usually don’t do . . . I withdrew money ($40 from the ATM). With the $40 I played some more blackjack. However, this time lady luck smiled at me and over the course of about 30 minutes, I went up to $100. So I cashed out and made a nice profit of $40. Woot. Woot.

After that, we went to Four Corners Monument. Oh man, this place is so lame it’s fun. This spot is where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah all meet. On flickr is a photo of me with one limb in each state.

First week of IHS rotation
Everyone and I mean everyone from the nurses to the physicians to the pharmacists are nice. I think they put benzos and SSRI’s in the water. Seriously, the only people I’ve seen without a smile are the janitors. I’ve been doing a lot of discharge counseling, prescription checks, drug info questions, and some IV’s. I don’t start clinics until next week. Being an amb care rotation, I’m a little disappointed. I’ve already done all the inpatient stuff before and will get to do it in my future hospital rotation. I expected to be in a clinic most of the time. I will talk to my preceptor next week and see if he can give me more time in the clinic.

Sunday, xx/10/xx
I just lost $80 playing blackjack at an Indian Casino . . .

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