Tuesday, January 15, 2008

good day or bad day?

Well the day started out really well. Father Valentine made us all breakfast which Cece and I followed up with an order of Jacks at the Riverside Cafe.

After breakfast, I got my assignment. Today's assignment was to work with Dr. Cliff the ENT. He began his day with a tonsillectomy so I got a little down time in the am and was able to help out in some random areas. Then things got cooking. I got to see kids with huge tonsils, a kid with a split uvula, a kid who isn't talking and several other normal ENT things. We scheduled 3 more surgeries ( a goiter, another tonsillectomy, and tympanoplasty). Its going to be a busy week.

Speaking of busy, things got extremely wild around 3 at the hospital. They called in to let us know that the ER was going to be getting a trauma case. It was a motor-vehicle accident that was 6 miles out. The ER has one nurse on staff. We have several trauma nurses with us, all of which sprang into action getting supplies and getting ready to help out in the ER. It turned out to be not 1 patient but 7!! The first one to come in was a 3-year-old little boy who arrived DOA. The next was a little girl who needed stitches in her lip which was cut through. The other 5 patients were adults some of which had been underneath the vehicle. Im not sure what would have happened had our crew not been there. Im sure that we would have had a at least 1 or 2 more casualties. As it was we were able to help facilitate the transportation via air (not something normally done) for 3 of the patients. A 4th was taken by ambulance (strictly transport only, no medical aid on board) and another was admitted to the hospital in Dangriga.

While we were still finishing up the ER patients Dr. Cliff came back to finish his last patient. This patient had been sent for an ultrasound but had been delayed as the ultrasound was needed in the ER. We finally got the ultrasound results back and found out that the elderly gentleman had a cancerous tumor on his neck. Due to his other health history there is nothing that can be done for him and he will just have to wait it out. It is definitely not my favorite thing to have to listen to someone being told that they are going to die. Don't get me wrong, I realize that we are all going to die but who wants to be the one to tell someone else?

When the third patient left for the airstrip several of us also left for the hotel (approximately 2 1/2hr after the whole ordeal began). As we were leaving Father Peter stopped us and asked us to chase down the ambulance because the x-rays on the patient had been left behind. Dr John, who was driving, passed 4 cars and sped up to catch the ambulance in record time. From Dr. to ambulance chaser. I see a new profession in his future.

Whether you view the day as good or bad, a learning experience or not, it was definitely a long and tiring day and one that I wont soon forget.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Joelene, I don't think I could do it! I would have been in a puddle on the floor! Glad I caught up on your travels, and I hope the rest of the week is less eventful. How wonderful though that the Lord made provision for those people to have the help and resources they needed. TC

Anonymous said...

This is Sophie Hume, Cliff's wife speaking. How is Cliff doing? Alexander has been sick since tuesday with a fever and a bad cough. We miss you!

The Lovely Wife said...

Cliff is doing well. He is definite asset to the team. He has done several surgeries here and is great with the patients. In the ER he helped with some facial fractures that came in with the MVA. It was a tough day. I will let him know whats going on at home and that you were asking about him.

Sophie said...

Hi there. Actually that comment was posted by my son posing as me! He's sick and wants some TLC from his dad. Glad to hear that you're all doing well.
Best regards,
Sophie (the real one)