Monday, March 28, 2016

Stephing in to Lewanika

After an amazing week at Kama, I couldn't wait to get into the hospital. My second week would be spent on the male and female medical wards a Lewanika General Hospital.

Monday morning came with nervous excitement. As I walked onto the female medical word I was overwhelmed with joy to see the nursing staff receiving morning report from the night nurse. I thought to my self "I can do this, it's just like at home." I couldn't have been more wrong.

After receiving report, the nursing staff proceeded to making patients beds. Not just readjusting the sheets around patients and making sure the had fresh water, but literally making sick patients get out of their beds to properly make their beds with the sheets that they had personally brought from home. After all 36 beds were made we continued to dusting the ledges and windowsill (which get done everyday and need it!). At this point in my day I was a bit rattled, but quickly regrouped and was looking forward to rounds with the Physician. I spent the next few hours brain storming with a medical student about various diseases such as liver cirrhosis, HIV, STIs and malaria. I also learn enormous amount about the nurses scope of practice in Zambia. For instance the nurses in Zambia can "tap" a patients stomach with live ascites due to cirrhosis to remove the excess fluid, where as at home this procedure is performed by a physician. On the other hand, nurses in Zambia can not catheterize a married man without his wife being present.

The variations in practice continued to astonish me over the next 3 days. I'm looking forward to learning a great deal more in the weeks to come.


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