April 19th, 2019
April 23rd, 2019 by Galit Rudelson
Posted in Uncategorized|
Today was my last day as a medical student! Not just in Ghana but in general. I was feeling way too lazy to write about this week, but figured if I don’t do it now, I wont do it for a long time, and Ill forget. I leave for America tomorrow. I have already packed all of my things, and exercises one last time, and showered. Funny thing is, I still plan to shower 2 more times while Im here. I shower 2-3 times a day, but none of them last longer than 3 minutes. I have a morning rince off, since I usually sweat through the night through the power outages. Then an after work/exercise shower (my favorite because the cold water is welcoming then), and an evening shower if I have applied sunscreen or bugspray since my last shower. Anyways, that was off topic.
This week I was on pediatrics. I started every day in what they call the NICU. But it is different from the NICU you and I would be used to. This is one bedroom sized room. There are 7 baby beds and 3 incubators in the room. This is really for babies that need a little extra monitoring after birth. Some of them are on nasal cannulas, and a couple on antibiotics, but that is the extent of the intervention. They have the ability to intubate a baby, but no ventilator to maintain it. So no babies are intubated. The youngest baby I saw there was 36 weeks, but they said that they just discharged a 28 week baby that survived. The entire facility is proud of this, and I can see why. With limited resources it would be terrifying having a 28 week baby born. But it survived!
After rounds in the NICU, where we occasionally suction a baby, or change around antibiotics, we go to outpatient pediatrics. The inpatient pediatrics ward is mostly run by the physician assistant, and the doctor comes when help is requested. We saw a couple of inpatient pediatric kids while I was there. Many are there with malaria, pneumonia, or diarrhea.
Outpatient pediatrics was interesting. I had my hair braided this week at a salon. This definitely threw the kids off. They kept looking quizzically at the abruni (white person) with plaited (braided) hair. A couple were excited to play with me, but most were suspicious, and stayed far away. Most of the outpatient complaints were fever, cough, rash, or diarrhea. Any child with a fever was sent to the lab for malaria testing (which means almost every child was checked for malaria). If malaria testing could not be afforded (which happened a couple times) they just assumed malaria and treated for it.
It was interesting to see how differently the pediatric interviews were done. In the US it is stressed that if the child is old enough to talk, they should tell the story, and the parents could fill in. Here, no matter how old the child, even the 15 year olds, the parents did all the talking, while the child just sat there quietly.
The doctor finished working at 2:00pm everyday. I thought this was because he went to go do something else for the rest of the day, so I asked him what he does after he “closes” (how they say done working here.) He said he goes home and watches Game of Thrones and sleeps and eats! Until bed time when he just sleeps. This made me laugh. He was absolutely floored to hear how long our doctors work.
With that comes a close to this adventure. It has been a lot of fun. Ill do at least one more summary post, so I wont get too sappy now. I did take a lot of “last day of school” pictures today. Ghanaians will never just take one picture. They will always pose for a photo shoot, with several different poses. So I have a collection of last day of school pictures now!