First Day in the Clinic: Chapter 3B

A Journey HomeA Journey Home is the story of my mother’s experiences working as a nurse in a health clinic for the under served in Ghana, West Africa. Her journals, newsletters, and letters to me provide these snapshots of her life in Kumasi. Click here to begin with the first entry of “The Journey Home”  

Journal Entry

My comments are in italics.

October 7, 1989

This morning only one Ghanaian nurse was in the clinic, so I saw patients today — 29 to be exact out of a total of 61. More than three quarters of them had malaria and some with hypertension. One had an enlarged liver, probably from chronic malaria. A 17 year old male I had seen on my visit in June returned with bad breath! Sinus x-rays were ordered some time after June. He brought the report today which showed no problem. I wonder if he has a mental problem; I noticed a stutter in his speech.

Mama with a patient and interpreter

Mama with a patient and interpreter

One patient I saw was not satisfied with the medicine I gave her. She went to the Ghanaian nurse who ordered lab work and also asked me to give her some penicillin and cough syrup. I refused to order Penicillin as she had no fever, and her lungs were clear, but I did give her cough syrup. This episode must not be a habit!

 

A Ghanaian nurse with a patient in the clinic

A Ghanaian nurse with a patient in the clinic

Beth prepared my lunch (only a 30 minute break), and we completed clinic at 2:30. Then we went shopping for groceries, not a good time to shop since all the grocery stores were closed. So we went to the “Brunie” market; white people are referred to as Brunies. The Brunie market contained kiosks, and we were able to find good supplies. I bought a chicken at the meat market for $4! (Remember this was in 1989. The prices don’t seem so high in 2014.)

We were back by 5;30. Beth and I put the vegetables to soak in Iodine water to be sure they were safe to eat. There is no way to know what was used for fertilizer on fresh produce or who and where it was handled. Iodine soak provided the proper cleaning. Bob cooked sausage, bacon and eggs, and I made the pancakes. We have a team meeting at 7 P.M.!

I am thankful for Mama’s skills in nursing, and the opportunities she had to serve people in need.

JoyMartell

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One thought on “First Day in the Clinic: Chapter 3B

  1. Pingback: A Journey Home: Introduction | Counting Joy Blog

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