Saturday, 22 March 2014

Nicola Credland's Uganda blog - entry 4

I am in the University office writing this. There has been no internet access all day which is common here although very frustrating. We forget how much we rely on such technology. Apparently we possibly won’t have electricity over the weekend - it tends to be off Friday night, Saturday and Sunday! I can only imagine how difficult working in these conditions day in day out must be. I have just finished a one-to-one teaching session with Harriet Nalubega. She is a certificate nurse (educated to GCSE level) who works on ICU. She is often the only nurse on duty in ICU (irrespective of the number of patients) with no academic ICU training and very limited clinical experience. She wanted to learn about cardiac conduction and how to read basic rhythm strips. To say I was impressed was an understatement - she was amazing! Within two hours she was accurately diagnosing VF, VT, AF, PVCs and heart blocks and could explain what was happening in the heart for each one. She is possibly the brightest student I have ever met. She is currently working to pay for her younger sisters’ schooling. She then has to do her diploma (the same as our A levels) before she can apply to do her nurse training. She may never be able to afford the £500 per year fees. If I had a spare £2k I would gladly give her it. However, I can give her my time while I am here so we have loads of teaching booked for next week - including a basic life support session for all ICU staff which non of them have ever done.
As it is Friday and the start of the weekend I was taken out for a few beers by some of the other lecturers. Many of them are from the American Peace Corps. We are all meeting up for a BBQ on Sunday so its not all work ;) Queen Elizabeth National Park safari tomorrow so an early 5am start - very excited! 

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