This post was written 2 months ago and gives a glimpse of a more clinical day for me (which are far and few between).
Today definitely had its good and bad moments. I loved the fact that I could do some clinical work but disliked the fact that I was doing it because someone else didn’t do it in the first place. I was annoyed to see nurses sitting around complaining they were to busy on one ward but happy to see nurses elsewhere eager to learn and help re-assess patients. It was a long day. Leaving the house at 6 am and arriving back at 9 pm. Here’s a glimpse…
Early morning ward check: At 6:30 am Becky and I arrived at the hospital to do a surprise early morning check. This is the check we do 4 times a month to monitor overall ward performance. It’s not very popular with the nurses, but needs to be done. Unfortunately this morning it was not particularly good as a number of patients either did not receive medication on time or it was not documented correctly. It can be discouraging but we need to keep trying to bring about change. It’s all about motivation and attitude!
Administration and trip to town: I spent the next hour doing some administrative work. I then went to town in order to try to meet an accountant because one of our accounts needs to be reviewed/audited. Unfortunately he was in meetings all morning and I was told I would be called. This never happened. Fortunately I managed to get the accountant’s direct line and talked to him later in the evening. I went to the bank to request a money transfer and withdraw cash. It’s funny how it doesn’t really faze me anymore to withdraw 5 million Leones. Then, since I was close by, I brought back lunch from Crown Bakery, as requested by my colleagues. Needless to say, I had a very tasty lunch.
Two ship patients: Earlier this week two patients showed up at my door – one needing plastic surgery, the other maxillofacial. Yesterday the little girl needing plastic surgery was at my door again and I found out that the mother, the 3-year-old girl and her 1-year-old brother were sleeping outside on the hospital compound. I decided that while waiting to contact the ship, I would ask if they could stay in ward 3 since there was a lot of space. The superintendent agreed and I took mom to the ward. Only to find out that the brother was sick- high fever and quite pale, which needed to be sorted out first. So I took the family down to triage to get him registered and that is how my afternoon of clinical work began.
Feeding Centre: While waiting for the 1 year old to get registered, a student nurse came by to say she was looking for a specific doctor, but couldn’t find him. She disappeared again, only to come back a few minutes later. She still hadn’t found a doctor and so asked if I could see a child. I said sure and followed her into the feeding center only to find a nurse attempting to resuscitate a child. Seeing as there was no ambubag or glucometer I decided to transfer to the emergency room where we resumed CPR. However, it was too late. There was nothing left to offer the child.
More clinical: I ended up in the Feeding Centre again later in the afternoon and saw another very sick child, in need of oxygen. I got that sorted and then went on my way again. I made sure the 1 year old got his blood transfusion. He did and thankfully he improved. Towards the end of the afternoon I went back to the Feeding Centre once more and ended up transferring the very sick patient to the Intensive Care Unit for better monitoring.
Namina: At 6:30 pm I walked to the ship, hoping to meet Namina and family on the ward, only to see that another patient now occupied her bed! I was informed that she had been transferred to the Hope Center, which is the off-ship hospitality center. So, I walked back out the port and up the road. I was happy to see Namina and her mom and brother there. It’s always great to spend time with them.
Re-assessments: After returning from the Hope Center I went back to the hospital and checked up on various patients. Some were still quite critical but at least in the intensive care unit. Seeing they were all being taken care of, I decided to head home. It had been a long day.