Friday 19th April 2013

Everyone managed to get a much better sleep last night – there had been a thunder storm on Thursday that dropped the temperature dramatically, it was welcomed by all. The day started with us taking some of the masses of equipment, that came with us, to WTH where we divided it up to be distributed to the appropriate departments, this included theatres, HDU, and the Eye unit.

After it had been delivered, the team went their separate ways, Kate to Paeds, Maddie to Obsetrics whilst Frankie and I went to the male surgical ward and HDU. We checked in on a post op patient (bowel resection) who we had seen a couple of times and were pleased to see he was doing extremely well. We were even happier to see that his observation charts were being completed correctly and in a timely manner as we had gone through this with some of the staff the previous day.

We were then asked to see another patient who had come in the previous evening having been stabbed in the chest. He seemed to be doing ok and his obs confirmed that he was not too sick. We helped implement a care plan and did some teaching with a variety of staff from Doctors to student nurses. I have been very impressed with a number of the students who seem eager to learn – asking all the right questions. They also seem to be taking ‘ownership’ of their patients care, it all seems very promising.

After this Frankie went to lend her expertise during the morning surgical ward round, and I set about installing the lighting equipment. It was not without its challenges, not least the heat. I managed to install two of the lights and was then surrounded by nurses wanting to be taught about HDU, 14 in all! Most of the nurses didn’t speak much English so a nurse called Cecilia kindly translated for me. At the same time as this Frankie was giving a similar talk to some of the doctors elsewhere.

When we all met up for lunch, Kate was disappointed to say that she’d not managed any training and was felt that she needed a bit more input from the paediatric nurses  – she soon had this remedied as some training slots were arranged with the ward seniors so she’ll be teaching for a number of hours on Monday with them. Kate also managed to show some of the paediatric nurses how to use the haemoglobin monitor for two children who needed it checking.

Maddie also came to lunch a little frustrated at not being able to impart her knowledge to the qualified staff but had managed to teach a large group of students (around 12 I think) so a good morning really.

After lunch Frankie and Maddie went to teach at Sister Gracey’s for the whole afternoon and were thoroughly worn out when they met Kate and I back at Dorcas where we are staying. Kate and I spent the afternoon sorting out more equipment and then went to finish putting in the lights. Kate was then amazed to find that I’d put two up by myself as they’re a bit fiddly – they have very small nuts that I was trying to put on blind whilst propping up ceiling tiles at the same time! (there was a pun to be had there somewhere but I didn’t have the energy by the end of it) Needless to say Kate’s help was greatly appreciated!

In the evening we were very kindly invited to the UN base by Aswilla, one of the UN doctors, who also came to pick us up! We had a lovely meal that had chips with it, I’m fairly sure everyone enjoyed them as much as me. A couple of beers and some dancing (I didn’t join them for this) and a lovely evening was had by all.

On Saturday we’ll be hosting a sepsis course, in line with international recommendations-  hopefully some attendees will appear, then we’re going to Amarula lodge for a much deserved afternoon off! With a pool, barbecue and perhaps a few drinks!  

Rob

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