By Jennifer Knight Day 1 was our travel day. It definitely tested our will power but we made it. Officially in Hawassa, Ethiopia!
Day 2 First ride in a Bajaj and our first day in the hospital. We learned as much as we taught and have a new found appreciation for the medical world we get to practice in. The nurses here are above amazing and would make any fellow RN proud. We got to put some of our donations into use today and they were received with such humbling gratitude. All of my NICU co-workers will understand when I say... the RN’s are the heart of the unit no matter the country!
Day 3 Disclaimer...some of my posts for the rest of the trip might be difficult for some so please be warned. Today was rough, we had 2 casualties overnight, one of which we had successfully resuscitated yesterday. We had a new team of RNs so it was basically day 1 all over. The new RNs were just as wonderful and receptive. We were able to pass out more of your donations and an iv light donated by a generous company. We were able to visit the PICU and OR which was an eye opening experience. I can say in my entire RT career I have never experienced anything like it. They are beyond amazing.
Day 4 Late post no WiFi. It was a good day. We were so busy the day flew by. We finished organizing our donations and created a centralized equipment space for the RNs. They now have everything in their unit they need on a daily basis. We had two codes today, lost one but saved the other. We utilized the neopuff which was an amazing addition! The RNs are excited to use it. Mesfin rounded with the interns and residents to teach them guidelines for our neonates. Zully lost her phone which was devastating. If you need to get a hold of her feel free to message me. Again some of the following pics are not easy to look at. Day 5 Great day again! Started with our usual Ethiopian coffee, which is the only way to start the day! Zully finally peed at work. the toilet hole is a little intimidating. Another couple of “down the stairs transports” really less shocking every time you see i. We had a new group of RNs so lots of teaching opportunity today. This group just as receptive as the last. Took more pics today as the unit was a little slower. No codes today so we have to call that a win. Mesfin rounded again with the doctors and met with the residents. We seriously love the staff here. Made a code box to help during emergencies which the staff seemed to love. Got to snuggle an abandoned baby and the staff never put her down so it’s hard to get a turn. They are so loving on these babies. It’s amazing! And last but certainly not least we had dinner at the Dean of Medicine’s home and met the medical director. So kind of them to welcome us into their home. Everyone has been so amazing to us!
Day 6 Late post...day 6...worst emotional day yet. Nothing could have prepared us for this transformative experience. Zully and I have done a really great job at supporting each other through all the emotional ups and downs, but yesterday we both struggled. There are so many things that go on here that we don’t share. There are a lot of things that affect these babies that are out of our control. Those are the hardest pills to swallow. We want you all to know that everyday we wake up, we go into the unit with the intentions of bringing nothing but good to those precious babies and the amazing staff that care for them daily. People like Jifare and her fellow RNs are what give us the courage and strength to keep going everyday even when we question if we are really making an impact. Today we post positive pictures of the beauty of the land and people in Hawassa. The lesson today is everybody is just doing their best.