Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Class and a trip to the hospital

Today is Wednesday, October 3, 2007. Today when I went to class I found out that 5 of my 13 students had dropped out and they sent word it was because they had already had a first aid course from someone else who had been here. Apparently the supervisor for the wives of the students had not investigated but had just signed them up. This is not all bad because it seems the 8 that were left speak better English. We covered Airway Obstruction today and the Heimlich maneuver. They did a great job when I had them practice on each other.

The class is from 10:30-11:30 and then I walk back to the house and at 12:30 everyone goes home for lunch until 2 pm.

Today at 1:30 I accompanied Patrick to the hospital, mainly to meet some people and get a tour. Patrick was having minor surgery to have a couple of skin cancers removed from his shoulders. The surgeon was so incredible. To be able to function in the environment I observed is a gift. He could multitask better than anyone!!

The hospital is a total mess! They are beginning a building right next door and they sure need it! While we were sitting in the Dr’s office waiting for him to take a look at Patrick there was a older patient and her daughter squatting on the floor in the same office. The Dr. stopped and told the daughter “Mamma needs surgery, it will be 145 Kina, have her here next Thursday morning at 7:30 and you will come right in, no wait” And if I am correct he told her to bring 2 blood donors. Now this is major surgery… A Kina =.30 US ….so it was going to cost this lady about $50.00 for whatever he was going to do.

Right in the middle of doing Patrick’s surgery (I was sitting in the OR room) a new Dr. (who is volunteering for 2 years) came in to ask his advice about a man she had just examined. So he stopped and consulted with her. Then he asked the OR assistant if there was a fan they could turn. The windows were open. When they finally figured out how to turn the fan on it blew the surgical drape off and he had to instruct them how to turn the direction of the fan…..of course several times he had to have the light adjusted! The next patient he was going to see was a woman whose hand needed draining due to a pig bite.

Jan told me this Dr had won a national award for his years of service. He first came to PNG in 1978 as a resident and then came back and stayed, raising 6 kids here. One son is in medical school in the states.

On Sunday we will meet other staff at the hospital, when we go there for a pot luck lunch. Tomorrow I will go to the clinic here at the school and meet the nurse and determine how I can help there.

Duff meanwhile is busy assisting the IT department and working one on one with different staff members who need help with their computers. I think he is enjoying what he is doing as much as I am!

By the way…cooking on a small gas stove in another person’s kitchen is a challenge! However I just took banana bread out of the oven and it turned out pretty good!! Bananas are plentiful here

Again emails are welcome. We read them even if we haven’t had the ability to send replies on a consistent basis….Duff is working on solving that problem. I guess I will sign off for now. Duff says he will write a blog of his own soon! Hope you all are well.

Mary and Jim

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