Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Week at Save a Life

Charlie, for the purpose of this blog, is a 7 week old babe weighing in at approximately 4 pounds. She's a strong little fighter; battling many severe diseases. I was with Charlie the past few days on my rotation. She had been doing well.
Friday morning I arrived on shift and soon thereafter Charlie began to struggle for a breath. The quick decision was made that she needed to be transported to Lewanika General Hospital for further evaluation. I carried her in my arms down the steps to a taxi, where I then held her steady in my lap down the long pot hole-filled road, until we arrived. Carrying Charlie in my arms down the corridors of the hospital felt like it took forever.
We finally reached the Pediatric ward where I was asked to sit on a bench with her for what felt like an eternity. Many staff and patients would stare, they knew Charlie was critical, but the urgency of attending to babe was not as high as it would have been back home. I have began to realize the different sense of urgency here seems to reside from the fact they truly do not have the resources to help this baby. The same resources we take for granted at home, every single day.
I have gone through four years of nursing school learning that I have everything I need at any moment in time, right at the tip of my fingers. Here, I have instead been learning and watching how to be resourceful in times of desperation; which I might add is a lot more mentally and physically draining then it would initially seem.
The resourcefulness of the medical staff on the Pediatric ward was incredible. For example, where we would have a simple tourniquet back home to start an IV, here they snapped off the wrist portion of a rubber glove- something I would not immediately think to do.
I am quickly learning how resilient the people of Mongu are; the things they see and do on a daily basis, the conditions they live in, the minimal resources- it's truly inspiring.

Dr. K. on my left hand side made the quick decision to send Charlie to the hospital. It was an amazing week with some great people.
- Rayane

Hi everyone ! This first week in Mongu I was placed at the Save A Life Malnutrition Center and the Clinic that was on site for children and families in the area. Instantly this experience was eye opening in so many ways. 
First off seeing how long the people here wait to be seen by a doctor is crazy! Women with children on their backs would wait up to 10 hours to be seen by the doctor. I assessed one lady and her baby who actually came the day before but were turned away after she waited ten hours because the clinic had reached it's sensus for the day. So she walked home and returned the next day, not to mention the 2 hour walk home from the clinic. This patients story is similar to so many of the patients at the clinic. 
The doctor I worked with was so amazing and by my second day she offered to just translate for me and I was able to do assessing, diagnosing, intervening and prescribing with her over looking. A very new experience for myself being that prescribing and diagnosing is not part of a RNs scope of practice in Canada. I throughly enjoyed my time in the clinic and I am now even more excited for the rest of my placements over the next few weeks:)
- Montana

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