Day Two at BMC

February 15th, 2011 by INMED

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The day started with a special treat as the cooks made us pancakes for breakfast (they usually only make lunch and dinner). This was really nice as lunch is not always a sure thing here as things tend to come up throughout the day. Today was a procedure day so we started as always at 7:30 but instead of having clinic at 10 we did some of the procedures that had been scheduled. I took out a cyst from a ladie’s arm and watched a few other procedures as well. We were able to take a long lunch since we had a pretty light load today as far as the procedures goes and a lot of people around to help. However, there were a lot of patients in the hospital and many of them have to sleep on the floor since we don’t have any more beds. Sheila and I decided to round on our own today and we started in ward 5 which is where the older children are. It went pretty well and and I think I’ll do the same tomorrow. I am learning a lot that way and Rich and the other attendings are always available to answer any questions that I may have.


Since we got done pretty early Sheila, Rich, Jake and I decided to go walk around town for a while. We stopped at a local restaurant which was more like a shed and we sat outside in plasting chairs around a crate but the weather was nice and the sunset was beautiful. The kids in that neighbourhood as well as some of the adults were really interested in us and my camera in particular, and all of them wanted to pose for a picture. In the end I had to hide the camera in order to get some space.


I am trying to pick up some of Mampruli, which is the language that is spoken here. It is difficult though as it is nothing like anything that I have tried before. Greetings such as dahsuba (good morning), neewuntahngah (good afternoon) and good evening (neezanoree) are pretty important, but I’m also trying to pick up some helpful words around the hospital. So far my vocabulary is limited to a handful of words and some gestures. It is also challenging since there are so many dialects here that often times the interpreters need to have someone else to translate since they can’t understand the patient’s language. All we can do then is to hope that there is another patient or family member around that speaks Mampruli.


The hospital system here is pretty different than what we are used to. Each patient needs to have some friend or family member around to help take care of them because otherwise the patient does not get food (which they bring from home or buy), bathed, or anything else. The nurses here really only make sure that our orders are processed, get the meds/labs/etc, and things like that, but as far as actual patient care they don’t do much. Tomorrow will probably be pretty busy since we have clinic again and we had to turn many people away on Monday. I’m still pretty much exhausted from all the traveling, time change, and work so I am going to bed early tonight. I hope you guys are enjoying this, I’ll try my best to keep it up!