Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our First Day at the Tamale Teaching Hospital

March 21, Tamale

We are all feeling a bit shell shocked after our first few days of clinical in the hospital. Definitely an eye opening experience which leaves a lot of room for reflection. We want to be sensitive in our descriptors of the hospital as we are truly privileged to be welcomed in, but we were all shook up after our first shift. To sum it up, pain medications are all but absent, supplies are meager, and privacy is extremely limited. We found ourselves in low spirits so we decided to have some simple fun together that evening. We all crowded around Megan's laptop and watched Wedding Crashers. It feels a bit trite to feel sorry for ourselves over what were seeing and not even having to experience but Muriel encouraged us in saying that this is normal for us as we've all tried to develop empathy during this degree. We realized that we would be helping no one by wallowing in sadness, although we also don't want to turn a blind eye. To that end we went back for our second day feeling more prepared and ready to help in the little ways we could. It's hard to not want to overhaul entire units, but we chose to focus on advocacy and attempted to humbly show by example. At post-conference the mood was noticeably lighter. We all looked for the positives and strengths that day and were surprised by what we found. We are starting to settle in and find our voices as nurses here.

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Kelowna, where as you all know by first hand experience now, the gap between what we have here and what you are working with in Tamale every day is too large, materially speaking. Much more so than can be ethically justified by any reasoned argument.

    Yet, your stories also illustrate that in other forms of capital, such as social capital, our Ghanain sisters and brothers may be ahead of us in many ways we could learn from - how they take care of their orphans the best that they can, how they make the best use of the scarce resources they have, and build relations with others to create more resources for their communities. Good on all of you for closely examining your own reactions in a thoughtful way - and sharing them with us so we can also be thoughtful - about what we have, what others have, and how we could better share so that everyone has enough.

    Thank you for your stories - and I look forward to reading more of them,

    Patricia Marck