After enjoying a weekend off, I'm well-rested and back in the swing of things at work. Here's a glimpse into my day today on D Ward:
0625 - Tried not to fall or wake my bunkmate up as I got down from the top bunk, waited my turn for the bathroom, and stumbled my way through brushing my teeth and getting ready for work.
0640 - Ate breakfast upstairs in the dining room with the rest of the day crew, none of us feeling very social as we gulped down our coffee in half-asleep silence. DONUTS were a nice surprise this morning, instead of just the usual cereal and toast :)
0655 - Made the long commute ;-) to work down 2 flights of stairs to the hospital. Prayed with the night shift team, received handover report, checked all my charts, and made a list of things to do for each patient.
0730-0900 - Gave morning medications, tube feedings for my 2 patients with nasogastric tubes, mixed up infant formula for the little babies after their mothers breastfed them all they could, chlorhexidine mouthwashes for everyone after breakfast, and saline nebulizer for my man with a nasal trumpet.
0930 - Ward devotions / prayer and praise with the patients. Then had African praise songs stuck in my head for the rest of the day "Tell him tenki, tell him, tell Papa God tenki..."
1000-1200 - More scheduled meds, tube feedings, and mouth exercises. Wound care and dressing changes for 2 of my patients. One of them only took about 10 minutes, but the other dressing change lasted close to an hour. It was for the noma patient I wrote about the other day. He's doing great! I took out his nasal bolsters and NG tube today. I was mistaken, he doesn't have to be on tube feedings for 3 weeks. But his tongue is still sutured to the roof of his mouth, so he'll probably be drinking lots of ensure.
1200 - Lunch break! After lunch, said goodbye to 2 good friends who were about to head home to America.
1230-1400 - Discharged my 2 little cleft lip babies who were ready to go home. Through the help of the translators (and another patient's family member, who assisted us with a 3-way translation) I taught their mamas how to do the chlorhexidine mouthwashes, made sure they knew when their follow-up appointments were, and then sent one of the translators/day volunteers to take them down the gangway and out onto the dock. Then wrapped up all my "loose ends," checked some vital signs, and finished charting. Also made sure my pre-op patient was doing ok, still waiting for his surgery.
1400 - Prayed with the oncoming evening shift and gave handover report to the nurses taking over.
1430-1530 - Took the patients who were able up the stairs and outside onto Deck 7 to get some much-needed fresh air.
Back at it again in the morning!