Friday, March 18, 2011

Normal chaos...

I started writing this post at 6:22 pm when I was stuck in traffic trying to get home. At least I now have usb Internet access, which means the journey home is not as bad. While heading home I was thinking back over the day and came to the conclusion that it was pretty chaotic. Someone later reminded me that my days are usually very busy. I think what actually makes it seem chaotic is the number of people that walk in and out of the office requesting something. I am often asked what I do everyday and to be honest, it's not always an easy question to answer. Everyday is different and sometimes I look back at the day and wonder what I did. Anyway, it is now 11 pm and I am at home working on the bank account annual report so that it can be audited by next week. I just thought I’d take a moment to finish this post. So to give you an idea, this is what I did yesterday and today:

  • Met with both hospital core management teams (matrons, superintendents and managers) and two people from Mercy Ships to discuss a partnership over the next few years. I was thrilled to get both management teams together, as it was the first time in 9 months I’ve seen both teams together. Exciting. I love teamwork. And the partnership sounds very promising.
  • Went into ICU and helped sort out a blood test for a little girl who looked very anemic.
  • Sent an array of emails.
  • Saw a couple of patients who want access to the ship. Sent some away knowing the ship won’t be able to help, put some names on a list and sent a child with possible retinoblastoma to the eye screening.
  • Started to put together the SLICH annual accounts so that they can be audited in the next two weeks! This is something I found out about on Thursday and I’ll need to have it done by Monday. Yikes.
  • Finalized proposals for the upcoming SLICH board meeting.
  • Talked to one of the nurses onboard to see what could be done for some of the surgical candidates I have been seeing at the Children’s hospital.
  • Called a few patients who are scheduled for surgical assessment on the ship on Monday.
  • Sorted out a finance report with the Finance Officer.
  • Met with the hospital’s ‘engineer’ several times to discuss water pump and generator issues of which I know very little of and kept telling him to wait until we discuss some of these things with other people. He must have come into my office for various things 10 times today.
  • Discussed a patient with one of the national doctors- a little girl with meningitis who he wants to present at the next grand round. And so also got consent and took a few pictures of her.
  • Talked to Dr Baion concerning a few patients on the wards and the Burkitt’s program
  • Made a lot of phone calls to the Ministry’s procurement officer to try to get a shipment at Lungi airport released. I must have made about 15 calls today concerning that container and it was very frustrating to hear various promises, different price quotes, etc.
  • Had a surprise visit from a former patient from my Aberdeen days. She was a girl we sent to Liberia for a shunt due to hydrocephalus. She’s grown so much and is doing relatively well.
  • Meeting with the hospital manager to sort out transport, etc. for people to go to Lungi tomorrow to pick up the shipment.
  • Re-assessed a 2-week old cleft lip baby before he went upcountry with his mom to make sure he was breastfeeding well. I advised the mother and told them I would try to get him scheduled for surgery in August/September. I was reminded about how much I love the cleft patients and their families.
  • Met with the Director of Information and Planning in the Ministry and discussed our data collection process. I’m happy to say that he is very pleased with the way Welbodi has set things up. YAY.
  • Happened to see parents in the hall with a 4 month-old baby weighing 1.8 kg and tried to get one of the national doctors to see the child quickly due to low oxygen saturations. There was some doubt about her age and which ward she was to go to, but we got there in the end and one of the doctors agreed to see her.
  • Went around with someone who is here to help with our medical records process/database to see what improvements can be made in both the short and long-term.
  • Arranged for the driver to go to town to pick up a bottle of cooking gas and A4 paper.
  • Sent invitations to the SLICH Board for the March Board Meeting.
  • Ate lunch and drank cold bottled cokes.
  • Burnt loads of phone credits due to the many calls I had to make.
  • Sat in traffic for at least 2 hours this evening to get home.

I think there’s more, but I think this shows the diversity and busyness of the job. And, it’s probably not a surprise that it is chaotic at times. Really, really, I do love it. However, I have to admit, that there were many frustrating moments today. I made it to the end though and tomorrow is a new day. Okay, I am going to go back to the accounting now…

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~