Night Duty At Ghana’s Baptist Med Center

September 3rd, 2013 by Carmella Caldwell
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Last night was the first night I was on call. It was pretty steady until around 3AM. I admitted people for convulsions, malaria, abdominal pain, diarrhea, possible meningitis, respiratory failure, inability to urinate, sickle cell crisis…just to name a few. I also delivered a baby in between. Here at the BMC I definitely get to use all of my skills as a family practice doctor. Here instead of labs, physical exam is extremely important. Good physical exam and paying attention to details make a world of a difference. The one thing I absolutely despise is walking the dark dirt road at night. From my house to the hospital it’s approximately 1/2 a mile each way. I at least made 6 round trips last night.

 

It’s like all of the insect sounds are magnified, numerous shadows appear out of nowhere, bats swooping from trees, walking blindly into spider webs….a flashlight can only do so much! (lol) One beautiful thing about the pure darkness in Nalerigu is that you can see the stars and appreciate God’s beautiful creation. It’s simply amazing! On to the randomness….I’m just go to share a few pictures with you that I have accumulated thus far. DISCLAIMER: Each and every individual/patient was asked permission to take pictures and use on my blog.

Internet Finally

August 31st, 2013 by Carmella Caldwell
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So we finally got internet here at the BMC of Ghana, so unfortunately we won’t be starting on Day one of my exhibition. lol. After 4 planes and a long “BUMPY” car ride from Tamale to Nalerigu I finally arrived on the BMC compound this past Thursday. While we were driving towards the hospital all I could think of was “oh my gosh there are so many goats everywhere”. I probably saw close to 300 goats either, walking on the side of the rode, eating grass, in the middle of the street, sitting in water, etc. I saw more goats than I saw birds!

 

Since I have been at the compound I have noticed that it is COMPLETELY different treating people here than being a part of a residency program. Currently there are four physicians (including me…imagine that lol) that make final decisions about pt care. The mindset, regarding healthcare, of the Ghanaian people are extremely different than the American culture. They do not complain of pain unless it is extreme. They are appreciative of efforts made by the physicians even if it’s just writing a prescription for tylenol. On the maternity ward, it’s difficult being able to tell who is actually in labor. You don’t hear the normal screams, yelling, moaning or demands for epidurals. We don’t have strips to look at to see if pt’s are contracting or not. You can only tell by feeling the abdomen. On the pediatric ward there are so many kids to see. They are so sick and malnourished it is disheartening. There are no laryngoscopes for intubation during resuscitation events (only amboo bags), no daily lab availability, minimal equippment, etc.

 

On clinic day yesterday I’m sure we saw at least 400 people and then had to turn some away. There are so many people here that need care and not enough physicians available to carry out the demand. Ok that was a snippet of the past couple of days. Until next time!

My First INMED Blog Post

August 20th, 2013 by INMED
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caldwell-carmellaHello! My name is Carmella Caldwell. I am a family medicine resident at Research Family Medicine Residency in Kansas City, and I’m starting my INMED service-learning experience at Baptist Medical Center in Ghana, beginning in August 2013.