Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wait people expect me to know stuff?? Eeek!


Brief post today as pretty quiet and nothing exceptionally exciting happened.

Went on the paediatric ward round which was really good today as it was just the doctor, one nurse and me, so I got to write in all of the patients notes. This is a double bonus because not only is it good practice for F1 year but it meant the doctor had to explain each case to me in english (sometimes they just talk about the majority of the patients in Swahili and then it is difficult to learn much on the ward round and gets a bit dull.

The vast majority of the children as ever had gastroenteritis/?Malaria. I’m yet to see a positive malarial test here or be bitten by a single mosquito so I am a bit skeptical about the actual prevalence rate of malaria here in the dry season at any rate. I suppose though as it is such a serious condition that it is better to treat initially as though it is malaria rather than waiting for the test results before treating. It does seem though that the staff here are often so obsessed that someone's symptoms must mean malaria that they are blinded to the possibility of any other illness.

The baby who was in traction for a broken femur when we first arrived here was finally released from his traction prison today :). He looked happy to be released and the leg seemed fine when the nurse manipulated it although he is having an x ray to confirm this later.

Houses patient who I have mentioned before was not on the ward during the round this morning as she was having an ultrasound. The doctor did discuss the patient with the nurse though and whilst most of the discussion was in Swahili, I did catch phrases such as "mentally ill" and "psychological" and then lots of laughter... Not cool. Even if the patient is mentally unwell, last time I checked mental illness wasn't a joke.... A vast culture difference I guess.

Rest of day pretty quiet except for getting surrounded in the village this evening by a huge group of student nurses who wanted answers to various medical questions which turned out to be their homework. I guess it’s not like they have a library full of resources here to look things up and the internet is sporadic at best so doing homework must be a bit tricky. It was quite intimidating having all of them throwing questions at me and I tried to explain I was just a student too but that definitely was not a good enough excuse to them and they expected me to know lots. Fortunately I had some textbooks on me so I could look up things I didn't know for them. Still quite a surreal experience and I hadn't expected to be teaching at all while I was out here!

16/17/18th: Spent Friday and the weekend away from the hospital at Lake Malawi which is incredibly beautiful. So weird to see a lake which has waves and no visible land on the horizon! Got to sunbathe, swim in the lake, go snorkeling, indulge in a beer or 3 and eat nice food. Lovely :). So relaxing to be away from the hospital for a bit and now feel rejuvenated again for returning tomorrow morning.

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