Four weeks gone by just like that. I remember sharing that I went to submit my medical electives application letter at Lagoon Hospital, Apapa. An elective is a program done usually between the interface of 500Level and 600Level where you could go to any hospital within and outside the country to learn and observe their practice.
We started our rotation from Medicine > Surgery > Pediatrics/Emergency medicine > Obstetrics & Gynecology.
I will like to share about the hospital environment before I talk about the practice, if I take specific interest in discussing some issues and they seem normal to you, it is because in my school things are not particularly done that way and I appreciated that it was done with such seriousness in another practice.
The hospital environment was welcoming, everyone was practically happy to see you, always greeting regardless of who you are.
For medicine posting, we joined the ward-rounds and attended clinics, took vitals and answered a million and one questions. Many Nigerians are hypertensive and diabetic, we should watch it! I didn’t like the consultant we were assigned, so my first week wasn’t pleasant and I contemplated stopping but thanks to Ba’ami who encouraged me to continue and asked me to stop if my second posting was like that.
I resumed for the second week with fingers crossed, I’m glad I didn’t stop. They carried out at least ten procedures daily and the surgeons were excited to impact knowledge. We observed right hemicolectomy, several colonoscopy, osteotomy, hernioraphy, spinal fixture, gastroscopy, hysterectomy, endoscopy, knee replacement etc. It was sad we missed the open-heart surgeries done before we started the posting.
Everyone was very cautious of infection control, zero tolerance for any wrong act. Procedures were well explained to patients before it was done; patients were assured if they were anxious in the sweetest way ever. Everything needed for the surgery was inside the theatre, no need to run anywhere in search of what wasn’t lost in case of any emergencies.
The manner in which the patients were addressed was also something that thrilled me, such courtesy and manner of approach. At this point, anyone might want to say, “It’s because it’s a private hospital.” I beg to differ, the federal and state hospitals are meant to be better, if a private owned organization can offer that what is the excuse of the government. It is possible and that I know as two of my colleagues shared their experience in other hospitals in Africa here and here.
The emergency room was well managed and organized, everyone alert for an emergency case. We clerked and managed patients at ER. Something that thrilled me beyond measure was the maintenance system of the hospital, which is the major reason for the dilapidating state in our hospitals. Any complaints were addressed immediately no matter how negligible it was. The cleaners were always cleaning and the toilets were always clean, ensuring toilet rolls were available.
The kitchen was another interesting part of our stay, there was no monopoly of food type and I must say kudos to the chef, my heart was at ease knowing whatever I was eating was well prepared and perfectly healthy for me. The quality of food was very good, Sike and Nonso can testify to that. The chef was also friendly; he made us food sometimes on demand.
Here I was commending the staff of Lagoon Hospital Apapa, then I attended the clinical seminar on Ethics and I was blown away with the fact that they were not relenting on the standard already created but striving for more. How beautiful! I’m used to grand rounds were patient cases are discussed but never one in which the vision, principles and values of the hospital are engraved in the heart of the staff. iCARE an acronym for Integrity, Compassionate, Attentiveness, Respect and Excellence represents the values of the organization which every member of staff must uphold at every point.
The use of electronic medical report (EMR) system was fantastic, absurd we still use case-notes, what happens if they got burnt, huh? The EMR has patients record from whenever they registered. Tests are done and results gotten as soon as possible, minimal stress on patients and doctors with the use of intercom. This makes patient care faster and more efficient.
The doctors are very friendly and they took us tutorials. Another part of the experience I enjoyed was when they ask Sike and I for our names,
“I am Ajayi.”
“What about you?”
“I am Ajayi.” Epic moment! The drama that follow is usually amusing, they give the look of ‘you guys must be joking’ we give the look of ‘we bad like that’. Lol
I was happy I met Dr Dayo, Oni, Henry, Onabanjo, Anniebuna; and Dr Bukola who saved me the day I had diarrhea, I wish you all the best.
Dr Bukola & I
Obstetrics and Gynecology posting was good, here we met another Ajayi.
We joined during the consultations at the clinic, examined patients, observed several caesarian sections, hysterectomy etc . There is something about Ajayis and O&G.
Doctor Ajayi was so pleasant; he was my best consultant there. Dr Akinniranye was such a peace loving man, teaching with such gentleness in the intensive care unit and high dependency unit, Dr Onakoya was very interesting too, I wouldn’t forget Blount’s disease for a long time that’s if I’ll ever forget. I haven’t had my neurosurgery posting yet but Dr Ojo was willing to explain the procedure of spinal fixture to us in his usual gentle manner. Dr Jimi Coker is a man of excellence, Sike said she will rather call him Prof, so Prof Jimi Coker, this man touched my being with the way he took his job and addressed everyone under him, surgeon extraordinaire. Although we meet Dr Abudu on the last day of our rotation, explaining how he was going to do the knee replacement to us was enlightening, one of us had the opportunity to watch because of infection control, and he wanted as few people in the theatre as possible.
Two other things I noticed, the bed cover was changed for each patient in the clinic and you sanitize your hand after every contact with patients, even if all you did was give an instrument used for a patient. Hand sanitizers were all over the walkway.
I’m grateful for this opportunity as I have honed my clinical skills and have a broader view of medicine as a profession, special thanks to God for journey mercies this past few week especially when the bus we boarded collided with a trailer on the bridge. For meeting this amazing people, I’m honoured.
How was electives like for you if you’ve ever had the experience, even if it was not a medical elective. Share your story.
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