A week in a semi-private hospital
19.07.2010 - 23.07.2010
After spending two weeks at King Edwards, my rotations switched to St. Mary's which is a semi-private hospital in Marianhill. Marianhill is about 30 minutes away from where we live so it was an early pickup and an early wake up! On Monday, I went out into the community. What basically happens is that you go out into the township to see how consultants work with the people in the community. The consultants go around the community to check how people are doing and if they are following up on the ARV therapy. It was a hot day and I walked around with my consultant who was very nice and I wish I could remember her name. She told me how her job worked and what she needed to do. I got a lot of information for my research. She explained to me how many people default there treatment due to certain factors such as, financial, religious or social reasons. She said it is very hard for people to stay on task with their medication. After my day in the community, we went to the beach and then watched a movie with our host brother.
Tuesday was my actual first day at St. Mary's. They put me in the Ithembu clinic which is an ARV therapy and TB clinic. Most of the day, I helped count pills and helped with the paperwork. I also learned a lot about how heard it is to keep track of all the patients. Everything is in paper. Everything. The files are in one room and some patient files are missing but considering the situation, they are pretty organized and manage very well. I spent most of my time with an HIV counselor who explained the different rooms of the clinic. There are about seven rooms. Once for blood work, once for counseling/inititaion, pill counting, and TB medication. I went home and got ready to go out to dinner for Amy's (one of the girls' in our group) birthday. We went to the rotating restaurant. It is an Italian restaurant and it exactly like the restaurant on top of the space needle.
On Wednesday, I was in the labor ward. We started the morning off with a cesarean section which was the fastest operation I've seen!! it happened in less than ten minutes and out came a baby! The second c-section was slower but the baby was a stillborn. The doctor didn't tell us that he and the nurses knew that the baby didn't survive so we were a little shocked when the baby came out. After that, Stella and I decided to take a break before heading to the labor ward. In the labor ward, we didn't see any live births but we did discuss with the nurses some of the procedures and protocol that they go through in the labor ward. That night was karaoke night. so all of us went out to karaoke. I sang about three songs. One of them was "Don't Stop Believing", which most of you know as my ring tone. We didn't leave until 1am and I knew it would be difficult for me to get up at 6am the next morning. So . . . on Thursday, I woke up with a sore throat and a cough and decided it would be better not to go to work. I didn't want to cough on people the entire time! As a result, my roomie and I skipped work and slept late. We got picked up in the afternoon to go to a meeting with our medical coordinator. Later that night we went to the Pavilion, which is a huge mall near us, and bowled which was really fun. Then we went back home to catch on sleep from the previous night.
On Friday, I was put into the St. Anne clinic. This clinic focuses on the prevention of HIV from mother to child. The whole day I worked with a nurse who was hilarious. She made the experience ten times better. Not only was she hilarious, she also informed me about what was going on and what medications were what and so on and so forth. She also cared about the patients more than what I've seen in South Africa. It was a great experience. That night, we went to the Moses Mahbida Stadium and the FIFA store. Later on, people went to the rugby game but some of us decided to stay outside and have a tailgate party. Once we were trying to get home, we had a problem with one of the cars and kinda had a fiasco on the way home but no worries, everything is fine . . . now.