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Published: August 23rd 2016
Dayna, Sister Robina, Britany, Montana
Our time in Mbarara went by quicker than any of us had really expected. It feels like we have only just begun to figure out our way around the multiple challenges faced in the hospital here. This week Carrie and I worked on the Male Surgical ward with patients recovering from or awaiting surgery. Britany spent her time in the Emergency department, Brooklyn was working in theatre and Joline was splitting her time between labour and delivery and pediatrics. Our final week was a short one as we left for Safari on Friday morning and many of us took Thursday off in order to pack and run errands.
This week was a challenge for some of us as many began to feel burnt out and ready to head out on safari. It is difficult to explain how burn out feels but the best I can say is that you feel not only tired physically but emotionally. The strains of dealing with so many patients with a lack of resources and in some cases poor health worker knowledge definitely built up for me the longer I was at the hospital. I found this final week challenging not only because I
This is where the mothers wait until they are ready to go into the delivery room
was ready to be on safari but also because the surgical ward had some people with severe wounds, some of the worst I have ever seen. These wounds would only be cleaned and dressed if the patient had provided sterile gauze as the hospital was, of course, out of stock. Patients were given no pain control and wounds were often rinsed with barely diluted hydrogen peroxide. I’m sure I would have screamed if I had gone through these treatments but in the culture here people learn to hold it in and they would barely flinch at the pain. Their strength and humor was amazing to me considering the lack of privacy, uncomfortable beds and terrible bathroom situation at the hospital many were in good spirits. One man would smile up at us and ask the nurse each day to tightly dress the wound on his butt so that he could “go out dancing”.
My favorite part of this week was the donations we were able to make to the hospital and to certain patients we had seen needing some extra help. Another QES Scholar, Montana, had brought many medical supplies from Canada with her and we organized these
This is after all the daily discharges. Generally mothers who had c-sections get a bed while mothers who delivered vaginally sleep on mattresses on the floor.
to hand out to the wards we felt could use them the most. The rest of us all added in anything we had left: gloves, hand sanitizer, scrubs, bandage scissors, sterile gauze and medical tape. We made a large lap around the wards handing out our donations and saying our goodbyes. It was definitely hard to say goodbye but everyone was so grateful for everything we gave that it made it an overall happy day. Two of the patients we focused hard on this week were Charles and Stewart. Charles is a patient from the male surgical ward who had been kicked off the ward and was staying outside. He had significant burns over his entire torso and both arms but had no supplies to get his dressings changed, he did not smell good! Carrie and Montana used some of the money we had raised to gather up both medical supplies and a few basic comfort items for him, James donated some clothes and a pair of shoes. Throughout the week we continued to check that his dressings were getting changed and Carrie put in a lot of effort to ensure he had food each day. Stewart is a pediatric
Always crowded with people!
patient with severe malnutrition who the nutrition students were keeping a close eye on. Britany spent time with him throughout the week and ensured that his colostomy bag was being managed appropriately. As we made our rounds to say goodbye Stewart was sitting outside in a chair, he had already begun to regain his strength. Charles thanked us for our help and was left with enough supplies to continue with his dressing changes hopefully until surgery could be arranged.
I am truly proud of what our group accomplished at the hospital during our time there. We each faced challenges and many days our evenings were spent debriefing or researching what options we had for our patients or why the health workers did things a certain way. We definitely learned a lot about being innovative and flexible and put our critical thinking skills to good use. We are all going to be better health professionals from the lessons we have learned here in Uganda and I personally can’t wait to get back to Canada and get to work!!!
Tot: 0.049s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 5; qc: 44; dbt: 0.0096s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb