This week was my first week in Lewanika hospital where I spent my time in the Operating Theatre and Recovery room. My last day was especially eventful. I asked if I could scrub in and I ended up being guided into the nursing role for the first surgery of the day. I had the opportunity to work with healthcare providers visiting from Lusaka, surgeons and nurses from Lewanika hospital, and nursing students.
Everyone involved in the procedure was excited to share their knowledge with me and help me gain as much experience as possible. I have always been interested in pursuing a specialty to work in the OR, so I was really looking forward to this. It was interesting to compare and contrast practices in the OR in Zambia to Canada.
For example, I noticed surgeons enjoy working to music in both places! I also noticed that each place faces different challenges in trying to provide the best care with the resources available. One afternoon we received a patient in the recovery room whose oxygen saturation remained low, no matter what intervention we tried. She needed supplemental oxygen but there was none available, not even in the ICU. It was frustrating being unable to help, whereas at home, this resource is easily available. This experience challenged me to critically think in a changing situation and reflect on accessibility of resources in the global health setting.