Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Last week was quite productive at the hospital. Not only did I sneak some photos, but the group of students in the surgical ward got to go to the outpatient department (clinics). Although they have been learning on the surgical ward, most of the patients are in traction and are waiting waiting waiting to be discharged home (for, like, months). Needless to say, the learning opportunities have come to a bit of a plateau in the surgical department, so I wanted to take advantage of our time and go somewhere with a little more action.

Me and 2 students and a staff nurse at Military Hospital (Surgical Unit, treatment room)
 There is only one paediatric clinic at the hospital, and every day is a different clinic. Monday and Wednesdays are "general clinic" days, which is basically a walk-in clinic. The other days vary between HIV ("special") clinic, asthma, neurology, and NICU follow-up. The students have had many opportunities to see different things and perform physical assessments based on the presenting symptoms, and the doctors in the clinics are amazing and have been very supportive of the students' learning. One baby that came to clinic had a huge piece of tape on her abdomen, and the doctor pulled it off and revealed an umbilical hernia. A common practice here by the families is to place a coin or a rolled up piece of gauze over the hernia and then tape it on tightly to keep it reduced. This is continued for years until the hernia resolves (or until the child has corrective surgery). The doctor and my students discussed the importance of keeping the bandage off to prevent skin breakdown, and that the hernia can resolve on its own. It is interesting to see the home remedies and herbal/spiritual management of medical problems that these kids come in with.
3 of my students in Pediatric Emergency

New graduate nurses wear green with white aprons

Outside Pediatric Emergency Unit at 37 Military

On the roads (and highways), Hawkers (sellers)
approach each and every vehicle hoping to sell
you whatever they've got on their head.

On a non-work note, last weekend we took another trip to Kakum National Park and Cape Coast Castle, only this time it was a school trip! Our students' bus driver drove us all in the University of Ghana Nursing School bus, and about 15 students came and brought along some of their children too. We had a great time and the students were very grateful for the trip; they said they don't usually make the time on weekends to take trips and just have fun with their friends and family. There were a lot of laughs, (gospel) singing and clapping, and picture taking.

Students and their kids hamming it up  for the camera

View of Cape Coast from the castle

View of the Atlantic from Cape Coast Castle


  1. Loving your blog Kathy. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! Looks like you're doing great work and the best part is you get to learn along with the students. Keep it up!

  2. Kathy,

    Sounds like your work is interesting! Makes you realize how lucky we are in Canada eh? Keep up good work!