Reproductive Health Rural Health Rural Reflections Women's Health

Ten things to celebrate when you go rural

Written by Lace

After some tough weeks, our rural doctor-turned-blogger takes a break from the doom and gloom to assume an attitude of gratitude.

A new ultrasound machine, great team work and an abandoned baby with a new home are just some of the things our rural doctor is grateful for this week.

A new ultrasound machine, great team work and an abandoned baby with a new home are just some of the things our rural doctor is grateful for this week. (File photo)

I’ve written several posts in the past few weeks that, for various reasons, I have decided not to publish. I thought with all the doom and gloom dominating the media recently, it would be nice to share some good news.

Below are 10 accomplishments we’ve achieved at my hospital since I arrived:

1. The arrival of our new ultrasound machine. It sat in a giant box for two weeks because we were not permitted to open it until a representative from the supplier came. Despite that, within two days of the “big reveal,” we successfully diagnosed two unruptured ectopic pregnancies. In these types of pregnancies, the fetus has grown outside of the womb. Previously these would’ve gone undiagnosed until such a point as they ruptured – a life-threatening emergency, that has cost many young women their lives.

2. My confidence in managing sick neonates has increased exponentially and I’ve started doing Caesarean sections unsupervised when on call.

[quote float=”right”]”I resuscitated a child that I was almost certain was going to die. The child has been discharged home”

3. The maternity team, consisting of myself and two colleagues, now works like a well-oiled machine. We were exceptionally busy last month when almost 500 women delivered. Despite this, the stats presented at the recent morbidity and mortality meeting suggest that our perinatal care has improved.

4. We’ve had no power cuts in three weeks.

5. Our medical team displayed exceptional competence and teamwork when implementing disaster management last week. A truck carrying almost 100 workers crashed, bringing in more trauma patients than we ‘d ever seen in one day before. Within minutes, all the doctors were called (from bed) and within a few hours all the patients had been attended to. Simultaneously, there were two obstetric emergencies, one of which required urgent salvage surgery. Both women are alive and well.

6. The social worker has successfully found a permanent home for Baby Kwando – an abandoned baby who has been looked after by one of my colleagues for the last four months.

7. A team is working to introduce extended family planning services, including offering women who no longer wish to have more children voluntary surgical sterilisations within 48 hours of delivery. We hope this will decrease the number of unwanted, unplanned pregnancies in the community.

8. I resuscitated a child that I was almost certain was going to die. The child has subsequently been discharged home.

9. Management promised that the road leading up to the hospital, which is currently in a state of disrepair, will be repaved in the upcoming months.

10. We have been joined by two new doctors. One of them has his primaries in anesthetics and a wealth of knowledge to share.

About the author

Lace