Nov 28, 2012 - General, Medical Talk    4 Comments

The hospital tour in photos

I have been working at St Francis Hospital for over three months now.

When I first started here, everything was very different to what I was used to. I would walk through the wards glancing at the three children sharing a hospital bed in Paediatrics, or see the X-rays hanging up to dry on a washing line, and wonder what era I had stepped into. I was regularly shocked by the lack of seemingly essential resources. I could frequently be found asking in a shocked tone of voice “what do you mean we can’t measure sodium or potassium levels here?” or “what do you mean the hospital has run out of IV fluids?”

It is amazing how quickly I have adjusted to my new environment. I recently had my first visitors from home this month and as I took them on a tour of the hospital, I was reminded of what a fascinating place this is.

I thought it would be nice to take you on a virtual tour of the hospital through some of Will’s photographs…

The entrance to St. Francis Hospital

The entrance to St. Francis Hospital

Noticeboard

Noticeboard

The hospital is bright and airy, with open-air walkways and plenty of big open windows and light. I enjoy wandering around in the fresh air during my working day; it makes a welcome change from the dark and dreary corridors of NHS hospitals back home.

Hospital corridors

Hospital corridors

Below is a photo of the entrance to St Monica Ward, which is the female medical ward that I am in charge of. The number of doctors have dwindled in the past month. We have one doctor for the female medical ward (me) and one doctor for the male medical ward. This leaves us fairly busy, with up to 40 patients per ward, many of whom are extremely unwell. However, there is great camaraderie amongst the few doctors that are here, which makes it tolerable and enjoyable even when it is far too busy and when we feel way out of our depth.

The entrance to St. Monica Ward

The entrance to St. Monica Ward

St Monica Ward (the female medical ward)

St Monica Ward (the female medical ward)

The emergency box (our equivalent to a crash trolley)

The emergency box (our equivalent to a crash trolley)

Several times a week in the outpatient department waiting room, there are HIV/AIDS awareness sessions, delivering valuable health promotion advice as people wait to see a doctor. Patients can go for voluntary HIV testing 5 days a week at the Bishop Oliver clinic on the hospital grounds.

HIV/AIDS awareness session in OPD

HIV/AIDS awareness session in OPD

HIV/AIDS awareness

HIV/AIDS awareness

Mbusa, the Paediatric ward, can have upwards of 70 inpatients (with multiple children per bed). As the rainy season gets into full swing, so does Malaria, and the Paediatric ward fills up beyond capacity. Although I work on the female adult medical ward during the day, I also cover paediatrics (including the Special Care Baby Unit for unwell newborns and premature infants) when I am on-call.

Mbusa (the paediatric ward)

Mbusa (the paediatric ward)

Special Care Baby Unit

Special Care Baby Unit

The final photographs are of an area of the hospital that I seldom venture into, but is interesting nonetheless… the operating theatre.

Anaesthetist

Anaesthetist

Operating theatre

Operating theatre

St Francis Hospital is a challenging place to work, but there is something very endearing about it too, which I hope comes across in the photographs. Despite busy shifts, limited resources and often finding myself stretched beyond my level of experience, I am glad to be working here.

4 Comments

  • Interesting! Thanks for the tour of the hospital. Although not as up to date as hospitals in more-developed countries, it’s more modern than I thought it would be. The open-air walkway looks inviting.

  • Great to read about your adventures Nat :) Wish you all the best

  • Thanks for the tour! Really interesting to see – what an experience!

  • Pure awesomeness! Looks super cool – and so glad that it sounds like you’re having an amazing time!

    Josh x

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