Dr. Poni Pitia Lako Mori
I am a dentist from Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, South Sudan. I attended the clinical attachment in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Poole Hospital from March 13th to April 4th 2012 under the guidance of Mr Walji and Mr Ramchandani (see my photo). The clinical attachment involves clinics, ward rounds and operations in the theater.
The environment of the hospital very clean and attractive. It is easy to find your way around the many buildings and levels just by following the numerous signs that show direction. I was also very impressed by the filing system for patients at the hospital.
I found all the doctors working in the Maxfac section very cooperative and professional in their work. Everyone knows what he/she has to do. There is a great team spirit between them as well as good interaction with nurses and anaesthetists.
The patients are the centre of activity at the hospital. They are well looked after by everyone in the team. Patients’ information is computerized, with individual file numbers through which you can get all the information you need about each patient. During MDT clinics, cases are discussed to determine the cause of their problems. Papers for any type of investigations such as biopsies, X-rays, operations and follow up sheets are always ready. Infection control procedures are in place everywhere.
The theater is very well equipped for all types of surgeries. When patients come into the theater, there is a quick review of the patients by the nurse and the anaesthetist as well as the doctors or consultants. Patients have tags on their wrists with their names and age written on them. These are also crosschecks with each patient who enters the theater. I saw that the patients are kept warm during operations. Gel bags around their elbows or hands are used to prevent injuries to the sides while working. The site of every operation is marked. The monitoring of the patient during surgery is the responsibility of everyone in the team, not only the anaesthetist.
What I learnt
I have learnt a lot of things during this attachment; things that I am able to take back home and try to implement in order to improve our patient care.
The team spirit is great. I would like to establish good team work at my hospital, as I see it very practical and improves patient care. There is also a nice doctor patient relationship, on how the doctor approaches the patients and shows that he/she cares about their ailments and wants to make them feel better. Saying “please” always is a great thing as well.
I like the idea of preparing leaflets about the patients’ disease or ailment for them to take back home. This is a good way of ensuring the patients understand what is wrong with them. I’m also taking back to South Sudan the idea of the patient tag with his/her name and number as well as preparing prescription sheets ready for all requests.
Instilling the virtue of honesty in our work as well as strict time keeping is essential and I would like to implement this in my work.
One disadvantage that I saw, something that I cannot replicate, is the heavy reliance on technology for diagnosis: CT scans, other investigations. Because we do not have such a level of investigations, we depend on clinical examinations more and are able to develop our clinical senses.
We may not have all the standard equipment needed for a proper maxfac unit but we can give our patients the best care possible with whatever little we have. Tomorrow will be better if we strive together. I am glad I had this opportunity to see what others are doing and how to do it in my country and hospital.