Thursday, November 14, 2013

July 9, 2013

Took an awesome shower!!! Now having Tea and Toast. I love this tea! I am not sure why it is so different and why it taste so much better here in South Africa, but that’s what I am drinking. Anyways, today is the first day in the Victoria hospital and I am super nervous! We will see how it goes. As soon as I get back, I will tell you my experience.


Wow, today was definitely an eye opener. I got to see so much and how our country is different from the South African culture when it comes to health care. It was sort of over whelming, but the doctor that I got to shadow and follow today was pretty cool. They have rankings of positions in the hospital, sort of like what we have, but the consultant (Medical Director) allowed us to follow her around and she was by far the more informational.


We saw patients with HIV and AIDS, TB, Renal Failure, a bunch of other names that I cannot pronounce. What made the experience a lot more enjoyable was the medical students that were with us from the states. I felt as though the one in particular who was following the doctor I was following was informational and willing to explain all the terminology the doctor had been using. This definitely allowed me to open my eyes in terms of reality. I know for a fact that I want to practice internationally. Although my legs where hurting and there was a lot of information overload, I still felt as though I could continue. With my experience from the states, working as a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Patient Care Technician as well as a Monitor technician, I was able to sustain and deal with many of the things that I had been seeing. Having experience will definitely make things a lot easier to cope with rather than having it be your first time experiencing that particular situation.


I feel as though I have so much to say but with little space. One thing that I wanted to do is film and takes picture, but that would definitely violate the privacy regulations of the hospitals. However I will have memories of the patients from here on out.


There was this one patient that we were caring for and the diagnosis was that she simply had a PGD, which is just swelling, and edema in the face as well as a non-moving cancer in the leg. When the Consultant came in, she immediately said, NO! This is not a proper diagnosis and she did not agree with what the other doctors where saying about her situation. One thing that she noticed was that the patient had been moving her tongue around as well as bleeding from the mouth. Well the other doctors failed to realize that. When the consultant (which is essentially a doctor with higher rankings) asked the other medical student to open his mouth, she pointed out the obvious pink and normal gums with white teeth. She then had the patient open her mouth and she had blue swollen gums with blood oozing from them and yellowish black teeth. She was able to draw a conclusion from that observation that she ended up diagnosing her with Internal Vessel Cancer as well as HIV and TB. I guess those are huge symptoms of a cancer that will grow inside the blood vessels. When I heard this, I was soooo shocked! My next question was, will she survive and if so, how long does this patient have? What treatment options does she have? Does she understand the severity of this particular diagnosis? All of these questions begin to arise and I was more so worried rather than being in the state of understanding the medical education behind this diagnosis.


Overall, I had a great experience and I cannot wait to return tomorrow morning. Health Care is definitely an area that I want to continue to grow in. I must seek other areas of health care and a variety of ways where I can help develop the idea of improved patient care and bedside manner. I can definitely tell that this internship abroad will be something that is worth remembering forever and I won’t forget this because its experiences like these that will not only set you apart from everyone else, but it will help identify the importance behind providing quality health care both in the states and globally. Oh shoot, I feel like I am opening a new topic but I have been able recognized how personable these doctors are and how they were able to make those connections with the patients. They seriously care about their patients and that is what makes a great doctor! Gosh, I could continue on forever, but I will keep that for the entire month I have a head of me.


If you are reading my blog, I want you to under how important and critical it is to expose yourself to the unusual, not matter what field of study you go in. Its moments and experiences like these that will help you to mater your skill in your career. Look how much I have to say and it’s only been 1 day. I still have 29 more days left and I have basically written a novel about my experience thus far. No matter what, always cherish those special moments and always remember that it could be so much worse!

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