Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nursing in Kenya

Hey! Vanessa here. I'm one of the two nursing students in Kenya this year. I just wanted to let everyone know how things are going at the hospital. Today I started my first day in surgery after spending four weeks in maternity. While I don't think surgery's my thing since I have bad feet, I loved my first day! On Mondays there aren't a lot of surgeries, but we had a woman come in who needed a cesarean. The nurses here have a broader scope of practice and actually get to scrub in on surgeries and assist. For this surgery, I got to assist and I learned so much. Another nurse scrubbed in with me so that she could take over in case anything went wrong, but it was a very smooth procedure. The doctor was great. I knew generally what was expected of me since I have seen several cesarean births before, but he let me know exactly when to hold what, and he explained his rationale along the way. I can't wait to go back tomorrow, but after four weeks of this, I think I'll return to maternity.

I feel like I'm becoming so much more comfortable with my nursing skills here since everyone expects a lot from me, and I need to be confident in what I'm doing. Since our maternity rotation at home is mainly focused on post-partum (after birth) care, there was a lot that the nurses taught me during my rotation here. It's really interesting how things work in this hospital. The nurses have a lot more responsibility in labour and delivery too, as they conduct the births and pretty much do everything unless there's a major complication. Being almost a nurse myself, they have been teaching me everything they know that I haven't gotten a chance to learn. The nurses and doctors here sure are knowledgeable! I love being a part of the doctor's rounds because he speaks very good English and he is usually teaching a clinical officer while doing the round. Here, a clinical officer is like a doctor, except they don't perform major surgeries. The doctor, as well as the rest of the staff have been very receptive to any questions that I might have. They are also very eager to learn how we do things in Canada. While I only spent two days in labour and delivery back home, I learned a lot in class and still have a lot of knowledge to share. I have been making some suggestions and questioning a few things, but, for the most part, I have been very impressed by how things are done in Kenya. Most of their standards are similar to what we would do in Canada. Some things are always practiced, so I make sure that I uphold them when I am performing the procedure, and I try to encourage sterility or whatever it may be when appropriate.

Overall, I am having a wonderful time in Kenya. I am learning so much about their hospital and their culture, and I love teaching about Canada and our standards.

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