Our week began at St. Teresa’s Hospital. On Monday, Christine spent the day in the operating room and I spent the day in maternity. During the day, we helped staff prepare equipment for procedures, clean the rooms, and observe patient consults.
On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to participate in a HIV support clinic. This HIV support clinic occurs once a month and the members consist of all HIV positive individuals. At the beginning of the clinic, Christine and I were warmly welcomed with a song and dance from the clients and staff. We then shared some education regarding HIV awareness as well as engaged in a question and answer period. The staff then educated the clients regarding health wellness. At the end of the support clinic, we were thanked with a generous lunch.
On Wednesday, Christine spent the day in the operating room. She had the opportunity to assist the surgeon in two caesareans and a prostatectomy procedure. She immensely enjoyed her day in the operating room and received a lot of knowledge from the surgeons. I spent a busy day in maternity. During the day, I observed two births, prepared a woman for a caesarean, and provided labour support for another woman. This woman experienced a prolonged labour as well as some labour complications. However, the baby was not experiencing distress and the doctor wanted to proceed with a vaginal birth. I remained with the woman and provided support as well as encouragement. The woman had a beautiful and healthy little girl and wanted to name her Melanie. The gratitude I felt was overwhelming! The woman in labour was very thankful for the simple touch, support, and encouragement provided.
On Thursday, we travelled to Kaka School to perform hand washing and malaria education. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and beautiful school children. A lovely teacher named Dorcus, brought a class of young children together and translated our material as we educated about malaria net use. We then taught the children about proper hand washing technique. Before we left, the children were given malaria nets, and they were very thankful as well as excited! After, Dorcus invited us for delicious traditional African tea. When finishing at Kaka School, we travelled to a community women’s session lead by the nutrition students. The afternoon consisted of food preparation and food education with a group of women.
On Friday, we travelled with the nutrition students to Machaka orphanage. We spent the morning feeding, playing, and providing love and comfort. We were all invited for lunch with the Sisters at the orphanage. We shared a delicious lunch as well as many conversations and much laughter!
On Saturday morning the nutrition, business, and nursing students, all travelled to a community where we held our second women’s health assessment clinic. The clinic consisted of assessing and educating women regarding: blood pressure, weight, height, waist circumference, blood glucose, oxygen saturation, and pulse. During the clinic, if there was a test result that required medical attention, the individual received education and treatment suggestions. If the individual’s results were all within the normal ranges, praise was given. Once all the women were examined, a brief education session regarding high blood sugar and blood pressure prevention was delivered. The clinic was a success and a total of 48 women participated in the clinic.
This week was filled with learning experiences and memorable adventures! I am looking forward to next week and all the new adventures and memories waiting.
Melanie Coffin (UPEI 3rd Year Nursing Student)