Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ingenuity in the OPD

This week I was placed in the OPD, similar to the ER in Canada. I was a little daunted because I was the only student there and didn't have a buddy to experience my first placement with. To top it off during our tour of Lewanika General Hospital the OPD was very hectic! Luckily all the nurses and medical officers were very welcoming. I spent most of my time working with a medical officer to help diagnose and prescribe medications.

Although we were all told how prevalent tropical diseases are there is nothing like seeing it first hand. We diagnosed countless patients with TB and malaria. Seeing how diseases that are non existent in Canada or uncommon effect a population so heavily is very eye opening, especially in a low resource setting. The ingenuity and critical thinking that goes in to providing care for patients when items are out of stock or just don't exist here is incredible.

As well as being an emergency room the OPD operates like a doctors office. One interesting aspect of this for me was being able to see the management of patients with chronic diseases and how they are treated in the community. I was able to participate in patient teaching on diabetes management, as well as the importance of sticking to medication regimes in hypertension. Effective patient teaching can go a long way. I definitely take for granted all the handouts, brochures, and booklets we can give patients to refer too in Canada. I am interested in cardiac medicine so seeing the similarities and differences to what I am used to peaked my interests.

I am excited for the learning experiences I will get next week in the ART clinic.


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