Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nurses’ On the Move

Late Monday evening we received a phone call from a hospital employee informing us of a potentially serious mass casualty accident on the main highway. A charter bus full of passengers from Lusaka had dodged something on the road and flipped on its side. We were asked to come and help out with the situation. A vehicle was sent out immediately to pick us up and take us to wherever they needed us (either the scene of the accident or to the hospital). Immediately after the phone call, all of us sprung into action gathering medical supplies and preparing for a potentially tragic scene. Sidenote: of course while all of this was going on, the power was turned off as part of a nightly routine, usually between 1800-2200. Needless to say, we were frantically running about the house yelling out “fill all your pockets with gloves”, “bring your headlamps and goggles”, “where are all the CPR masks?”, “bring the fluorescent pink duct tape for triaging”, “drench yourself with Deet- the Mosquitoes are out!” as well as many others. The bus picked us up quickly which came to us as surprise considering it’s Africa and NOTHING here comes quickly or on time. So there we were on the bus- ready to go - wearing headlamps, goggles, massive amounts of Deet, CPR mask out and ready (with a quick review on how to use it) and adrenalin pumping through our veins. We were prepared for the worst and ready to take action! We were taken to the Lewanika General Hospital where we found what seemed like the entire Lewanika General Hospital staff and nursing students waiting outside for the arrival of the bus casualties. After a short while bus arrived and thankfully the patients coming off the bus were much less critical than anticipated. However, there were a few patients who required immediate attention. We were able to help by performing basic assessments, dressing wounds and assisting the physicians with suturing of major wounds. It was a beneficial learning experience for all of us and we were very thankful that it was not what we were expecting.

We want to thank everyone for joining us on our African adventure. This weekend we will be travelling to Kafue National Park where we will embark on a three-day Safari. So stay tuned, we will have lots to share.

The Crew

No comments:

Post a Comment