The anticipation of our first official day at the hospital was palpable, how many patients would we see, what kind of cases would we encounter and how would we effectively communicate with patients who speak only the local language?
We began the day with some starting in the operating room and others starting in a busy clinic in the adjacent building
Hoards of patients lined up to see Pamela for physical therapy and Dr. Kotton for injections. In between cases and after 2 cases were completed on the Sunday, we all combined forces to see over 100 patients! Only in Uganda can we see that many in a day! Examination rooms were filled with patients—sometimes more than one and their families. The small rooms were humid and warm, and occasional rains intensified the air. With 4 providers seeing patients and our nurse Cindy and administrator Rhondine vigorously typing up summaries of each visit, plans were made for each patient.
The words of wisdom of the day came from Max Yue, our Medtronic rep: “Sterilization is a matter of opinion.” We all took turns around the table after dinner, stating our lesson of the day. Consensus was we are grateful for what we have, and our outlook when we return to our own practices will be changed forever. We all retired to our rooms for a good night’s rest to be ready for a big day to follow.