7am: Something I almost never got to do in the U.S. was see the family before work, because I was out the door long before they awoke. But, here, I get to see them most days before they head off to school. Becky has graciously given me the job to make breakfast each morning. Luckily, I learned how to make Cheesy Eggs from the best Pop’s in the world!8am: We have morning checkout with the interns each morning where we take time to discuss overnight admissions and to learn from each other.
9am: I go to the nursery where I am quickly greeted by some wonderful nurses who love their job and their patients. Teaching is solid throughout Kijabe, as this photo contains 2 nurses, a new nurse orienting to nursery, and a nursing student. Smiles always on their faces, especially when I speak some Southern Swahili.
9:30am: We start rounds in each of the wards. Very similar to what you see on TV or any teaching hospital in the U.S., a head doctor with a team of interns and students presenting each of their patients. I am in the nursery this month, but thankfully we have some wonderful visiting doctors from the U.S. When this happens, we get to work on other administration items and help out in other areas. Would love to work along side some of you in the near future!!
10:30am: Since I am free to help others, I head to our new pediatric wing to see if Dr. Mardi needs any help. We can be pretty busy on the Pediatric floor as most days we have 20-30 patients between the general floor, consults, and the High Dependency Unit.
11:00am: I did see a few patients on pediatrics this morning. Here is the beautiful face of one of our small kids with cancer that we see on a regular basis, and her momma.1:00-4:00pm: This is when we give lectures and teach the interns, settle in admissions from the clinic or casualty (Emergency Room), and follow-up on tests and labs ordered from the morning. On many Thursdays, I have the opportunity to go to RVA (school where Natalie and Sutton attend) and work in the student health clinic. I really enjoy working in this clinic with the wonderful nurses and students who have also answered God’s call to missions with their families.
4:00-5:00pm: We finish up the day’s routine and check-out all of the pediatric and nursery patients to the night doctor on call. Here is Dr. Ima reviewing some X-rays before she hands over to me for call last night.
5:00pm-8:30am: Call. Pediatric call at Kijabe Hospital is very busy and intense. This can be the hardest part of the day for many reasons – little sleep, away from the family, long hours, intensity of patients, etc. Each time I head to the hospital in the middle of the night I think, “I am getting too old for this!” But I almost always end up singing praise songs as I walk home, look up at the bright Kenyan stars, and thank God for the opportunity to fulfill a calling.
Once a month I get to be on call with Bob. He has worked at Kijabe on pediatrics for 8+ years and is by far the most experienced of us all. He is a Clinical Officer (similar to a PA or NP in the U.S.). Call with Bob is a blessing and relief. Bob has become probably my best Kenyan friend, though I am not sure he knows that yet. He is also the only other guy on our Pediatric team. He is a solid clinician and person and I look forward to growing our friendship over the years to come.
10:22pm: Since I am now post-call and completed another full day of work similar to what you just saw, I am off to bed.
4:00am is coming soon – Big 12 Basketball Tourney and the Sooners are hoopin.