Sunday, 10 July 2011

Last week was a good week at 37 Military hospital. I worked with my 2 groups of students (11 students in total), one in the pediatric surgical ward, and one in the emergency department. The day usually begins with the students arriving one by one over the course of an hour (timeliness is not as much of a concern here than at home!), and the students chatting with one another and having some breakfast. People here love to talk and learn everything about you as much as they can.

In the surgical ward, the main patients we see are orthopedic cases, usually caused by motor vehicle accidents or just children being children and climbing and falling. The interesting thing is most of the patients are placed in traction and on bedrest for weeks to months at a time. Usually in Canada, we would perform traction for a short period of time, followed by surgery to stabilize the bone so the patient can go home. Here, those specialized surgeries we have in Canada just do not occur and the patients basically live at the hospital with their mom (or nobody). Unfortunately, there is nowhere for parents to stay other than a small plastic chair at the bedside, and only one can stay. Visiting hours are for a total of 4 hours per day (not including one parent). There is one tv for at least 12 patients and there are no children's movies or shows on, and many days it doesn't work. There are also no toys. It's not very family centered :(

In the pediatric emergency department, many of the patients arrive with moderate to severe dehydration, Malaria symptoms, cholera, pneumonia/asthma, accidents (burns, injuries), or malnutrition. There were also some tiny (TINY) babies in the back who were both pre-term and malnourished. Something I have never seen and will probably never seen again in Canada.

I wish I could take pictures, but it seems to be greatly discouraged, as when I ask people they look at me like they have never been asked that question in their life. I was referred to ask one of the military officers (I think he's pretty much in charge of the entire pediatric medicine department), so I'm going to just not take pictures. Maybe I'll sneak one someday, but then again I don't want to find out what the jails looks like here!

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