This was a really good week for a lot of reasons. Work stabilized (kind of) and I was able to attend rounds with the doctors each morning. I've found a role observing and scribing notes for them. So far, I've seen a wide range of cases. In just the past week, I helped treat dengue fever, pneumonia, acute febrile illnesses, a mandibular fracture from a fight, and a patient who sliced his fingers open at a sawmill. I never know what I'll find when I get to the wards in the morning.
The hospital is not very well equipped and is chronically understaffed. It's a very different style of care than we are used to in the US. The building is one story and has two separate wings. By US standards it would be referred to as a clinic instead of a subdivisional hospital. The most advanced pieces of equipment we have here are a blood sample processor and defibrillator. Other than that it's basic supplies such as bandages, antibiotics, and other common medicines. In spite of all this, the doctors do a great job with what they have and it is amazing to get the chance to work with them to treat such a variety of patients. Hopefully by the end of my time here, I'll be able to see patients under supervision.
Ward Patient Washrooms
Hallway to Pediatric Ward
Head Nurse Ashnil with Dalton and I
Saturdays are the best. Since we're focused on work during the week, everyone is ready to do interesting stuff during the weekend. Last Saturday, we ended up going to a place called Blue Lagoon, about half an hour down the coast by car. Survivor had just finished filming in the area but they still had some tents and equipment there when we went. We had to make friends with the security guard by offering him an orange so he'd let us go on the beach. The snorkeling was amazing, but my camera ran out of battery before I could get in the water. We're definitely going back there so I should have more photos at some point. The reef was on either side of a trench about 150 feet deep, so we just snorkeled on the sides where visibility was good and it wasn't too deep to see anything. Most amazing variety of fish and coral I've ever seen, by far. We hiked, snorkeled and hung out there all day.
Fishing with Tuktuk
Sunset pt. 2
The reef and drop-off at low tide
At the time of writing, it has been raining outside for the last 36 hours. We originally had plans to hike to a waterfall in the morning and then go to the beach in the afternoon, but got rained out so we had to be creative. We ended up going to a secondary school rugby match in the morning and walked around town for a good chunk of the afternoon. A few of us ran into a retired anesthesiologist from Portland who's been sailing the South Pacific for 6 months at a time the last couple years. He let us onto his yacht, showed us around, and told us sailing stories. Super nice guy and even nicer ship. After that, we went and found the hot springs near town. Because of the volcanic activity under the island there are a fair amount of springs around here. Got a hot springs bath and even cooked a chocolate cake in a bag using the heat. Then we went for burgers for dinner and came back home to watch movies.
Cooking cake in the hot springs
Watching 7's Rugby
Hopefully no rain the next couple weekends. We have the next few weekends planned out- scuba diving at Namena, a day at Taveuni island, and the waterfall hike. Going to be some good photos coming if that all works out!
Until next time,
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