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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Kalutara General Hopsital

So just a quick mid-week post. I started my rotation on the surgical ward today and it was awesome. Will be going into theatre next week! I thought I'd tell you some...interesting...things about the hospital where I work.


  • EVERYTHING in the hospital is handwritten. This doesn't surprise me much, I didn't expect technology. Patients' notes are kept in supermarket-bought school notebooks that the patients look after themselves. And EVERYTHING has a separate bit of paper. I don't know how more doesn't get lost...
  • Speaking of handwriting...in true doctor style, all of the Consultants, Registrars and Senior House Officers have completely illegible writing. Strangely though, any House Officer or junior doctor will have impeccably neat writing (nice for us English who gain a lot of info from the notes!) Maybe they are taught it in med school here now?
  • Patients often share a hospital bed (top to toe)...they tend to have very different (often infectious) conditions...and a lot of urinary incontinence seems to be present on the wards...sounds fun no?
  • On the General Medical ward I was extremely surprised when going through patients' notes to find very frequently the phrase "Patient missing since..." often written at a time 12 hours or so later...
  • They play the National Anthem (it's long but jolly) through crackly speakers every morning just before 8.30 and EVERYTHING stops. Any patient who can struggles to stand and nothing happens for a good 4 minutes...I'm pretty sure they'd stop CPR if they were in the middle of it! (Well, not quite but you get my jist)
  • I have seen a doctor wash their hand all of once. And I have seen no gloves. They stare at me like an alien as I rush off to the sink every ten minutes and frequently whip out my hand sanitiser...
  • Nurses use a pestle and mortar to grind drugs...they tip what they can into a separate pot for the patient to take then grind the next pill...without washing the pestle and mortar...
  • One of the paediatric doctors was wearing a Christmas tie...on February 8th...I'm not sure if it was a joke or a genuine mistake...
Working in the hospital is an incredible experience. In some ways the hospital does not have as poor conditions as I was perhaps expecting. Don't get me wrong, lives would be saved if things were changed but the doctors are brilliant (mostly) and really care for the patients and know what they're doing.

Side note:on Tuesday Jeanie and I had a little evening adventure down to a Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda where we had the most amazing time seeing how the project cares for the eggs, lets them hatch and releases them into the sea (lots of hands on help happening here, wow!) They also look after injured or sick turtles they have found. It was incredible especially as while we were on the beach releasing them the sunset was glorious!
Two just hatched
Setting them off

Baby turtles off into the sunset


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