We have just finished our third day at Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu. It has been a very eye-opening week so far. The male ward that we are on currently has 42 patients, and today there were only 2 nurses. The hospital is in very poor condition in comparison with those in Canada. We were surprised to find that due to the high volume of patients, many are lying on mattresses on the floor.
We have learned a lot from doing rounds with the Doctors and have had the opporunity to teach many Zambian nursing students some nursing skills. The students are very lively, always smiling, and reading to help when they can. They are always asking questions and are a huge help to nurses on the busy wards. Today the student were in class so the patients were under the care of 2 nurses and us. We had a busy day of dressing wounds, collecting blood, and doing assessments on many patients. We are definitely improving our skills in advocating for our patients, and helping doctors and nurses to provide care for their patients. We have realized just how different our healthcare system is, and how blessed we are to have it available.
It has been very hot here and we will never take air-conditioning for granted again. We will be happy to come home and not be constantly wet with perspiration, and bug spray. Also, we are trying to invent our new cologne: "ode to a mosquito". Showers are cold here, no matter when you take them.
The people in Mongu never cease to amaze us with their kindness. Whether its a hello on the street, or a smile from a hurting patient, the Zambians have made us feel more than welcome.
We are looking forward to a weekend at the safari lodge and hope to see many wild animals. The ones we are used to, spiders, beetles, mosquitos, cockroaches, crickets, and earwigs, are getting annoying. We have tried to get in touch with our bug-side, but so far we have been unsuccessful.
Rachel & Susie