The team met this morning to pray, go over details of the trip, and run a mock clinic to go through each station of the eyeglass clinic. We setup a complete clinic in the gym of There will be six stations: Admitting, Evangelism, Nursing, Testing, Dispensing, and Fitting.
In admitting, the local church will assign a number to each patient and get their name and contact information for the local church. The church we work with will get this information when we leave for future evangelism.
The new patient will then be sent to evangelism where the local church will share the message of Jesus with them while they wait for the nurse station. The’ll hear the gospel and how they are loved. This is the main reason we are going to Belize – to share Jesus with those who may not know who He is. They are told we are there to help them see physically and spiritually and that we give up our time and comfort to share that message with them. The eyeglasses are a way to get there, but the real work is with sharing God’s love.
We’ll check each patient for common eye issues in the region, including cataracts, glaucoma, pterygium, and others that are easily seen without equipment. We call this the nursing station and we’ll also be checking for pink eye and other communicable diseases to make sure those get special instructions to get that taken care of at another clinic.
After checking for common eye issues, patients will move to the testing station. This station will allow us to test vision from close reading and distance viewing. We’ll use simple “flippers” that will let us test in half step prescriptions to see if vision improves. This information will be marked on the intake sheet for the patient and sent to dispensing so they can know what glasses to pull for the patient.
In Dispensing, we’ll be pulling 3-6 pairs of glasses to find the exact prescription and pair of glasses to fit their face. We’ll be able to find prescriptions in quarter points, and increase the needed vision as we try on different pairs of glasses. Most people will receive a pair for reading and a pair for distance. We do not have the ability to make bifocal lenses at clinic and are only dispensing glasses in one prescription.
The patient will then move to fitting where Ella and her team will adjust the glasses to fit individual faces. They’ll be able to bend the wire and plastic frames to get the perfect fit and explain how to care for the new pairs of glasses and clean them. Most patients will also walk away with an eyeglass case to protect the unused pair of reading or distance glasses.
We’ll send each person home with an eyedrops bottle and instructions on how to make artificial tears to help alleviate dry eyes. Some people will also receive sunglasses.
We’ll “rinse and repeat” this for almost 1,300 people (give or take) through the week. The team is excited to meet together as one group as some are from Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.