A crazy busy two weeks!

When teaching, they say you should start by gaining the attention of the audience. Seeing a cow tied to the water pump of JTH was... a surreal experience

We are both sorry for the lack of blogging on our behalf. However, this week has been ridiculously busy setting up teaching and moving things forward in the Emergency Medical Ward.

Let us start with a recap of the EMW meeting and life in general. One of the key things that emerged was that nurses were performing the roles of porters, cleaners, and messengers. Our patient burden was higher than ever before with all the new arrivals back to the country. Junior doctors are failing to attend work and there is a lack of accountability. There is no postgraduate education to offer motivation to doctors or nurses. There are no drugs or basic equipment. Sick patients are not being recognised and managed. There is no triage for the sickest of the sick.

So what has happened over the last two weeks? Teaching on postgraduate medical education has begun in earnest. All departments are attending teaching which will pave the way for them to develop their own system of postgraduate medical education (with a little outside support). We are both trained in medical education and over the next four months we will be running courses on all of the key aspects on (to name a few):

  • Teaching and learning
  • Assessments
  • Leadership/Management skills for medical education
  • Curriculum design
  • Mentoring and student support
  • Audit and Research

So far attendance amongst all departments has been exceptional and there is a palpable excitement in learning this, particularly in the departments of Obs and Gynae and Surgery. Our hope is that this four month introduction should pave the way for further developments in this area.

Nurse training recommenced this week, the topic being “Malariology and Triage.” The same tried and tested methods are being used; a two hour teaching session, running for five days, with an exam at the end and the award of certificates. They are attending in their droves.

Our malaria audit is now complete and we will talk about this on the next blog, once it is presented.

And now for a note on the Department of Medicine. When it comes to the running of the department, it is to quote my boss, Dr Elijah, is “the sickest department in Juba Teaching Hospital.” He is a kind man with a strong sense of pride in his department and I can tell that this statement upset him. We have been working closely together over the weeks and I feel that he trusts me as a person and a doctor. Three important meetings took place today:

1)   Dr Elijah went to a workshop designed to look at ways in which Juba Teaching Hospital could permanently secure a supply of equipment and supplies

2)   In his absence, myself and the Medical Director chaired a meeting with the junior doctors. Their main concerns were lack of accountability and punishment for non attendance, no rules/responsibilities/roles, and no teaching. We have installed a method of policing attendance which was universally accepted and we have also declared that teaching with enforced attendance will take place every Friday.

3)   We were invited by the Hospital Administration Board to a meeting this afternoon. In it they declared that they were going to employ three hospital attendants and one cleaner that would be permanently posted on the Emergency Medical Ward. This means that at last, our nurses can nurse and patients can have vital signs. More importantly, it allows the EMW enough staff to develop “four high care beds” for our critically sick patients.

On a completely different note, Clare celebrated her 30th birthday in South Sudan. I shall let her talk more about this but thought I would show you all a cheeky photo of the nurses singing her a happy birthday!

We are sorry that this is mostly a factual, poorly written blog. All of these things are blog posts in themselves and there are so many more things to talk about. Perhaps in the next post we will talk about some heart moving patient stories- we are both in the middle of some right now!

All the best,

D + C xxx

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One Response to A crazy busy two weeks!

  1. Debbie Morrell says:

    Really wonderful to hear of the great work that you are doing in Sudan

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