Friday 18th October 2019

Our last day. How did that happen?

Emma and I had the year one midwife students for teaching day….all 60 of them! Frankie had suggested a topic of “Oxygen and pulse oximetry” for the day, which had been agreed by the clinical tutors in Lira.

We kicked off with a lecture focusing on linking the scientific knowledge about Oxygen delivery and clinical practice. We got them to lead us through a demonstration of a clinical ABCDE scenario, which we had done with them last week. They did really well.

The second session of the day we focused on team working. They were divided into 5 groups and had a competition to build the highest tower they could out of the teams shoes. The prize was a nurses watch each for the winning team. Lots of enthusiasm and laughter, and some impressive shoe based architecture.

After many selfies from the students with their shoe towers we managed to get everyone sat back down. We listened to feedback about how teams worked, what were their strategies, did they have a leader etc. Linked their descriptions back to important team concepts such as shared visions and roles with in teams. We even used the intra-team strategies- lots of “stealing ideas” and “ just wanted to check how tall their’s was” to discuss concepts of sharing ideas, and learning from others. We also even touched on bench marking, and how they didn’t want to be the worst team, and how in health care we should also be striving for good practice.

The afternoon session we headed to the clinical skills lab. Emma kicked off with a hand washing session, using the ultraviolet light. The students loved this, and got very competitive. We then moved onto log rolling. They really enjoyed this, as they do with all hands on skills.

We finished off with some ABCDE clinical scenarios and then they had to present the SBAR handover. They had improved so much from when we started ABCDE practice last week. They seemed to have totally understood that as nurses they have the ability to save people’s lives by recognising acute illness and initiating treatment with Oxygen, protecting airways and getting help if they can for IV fluids, blood and antibiotics. Hopefully giving an insight to what they can achieve before they hit the wards, will empower them to be part of progressing day to day patient care.

We said goodbye and thank you, and they all filled out feedback forms. Emma was getting pretty emotional, she explained to them that this had been her first time in Africa and her first time teaching. She has done a great job and even managed to deal with my slightly winging it approach to the teaching today…..eek.

On the second day of the PTC course that was led by the newly trained local trainers we had to contend with a power cut, no water and a prolonged fire alarm that no one knew how to turn off. The new Trainers didn’t let any of this phase them and carried on with their lectures. They even adapted the time table in the hope that the electricity would come back on so everyone could have a hot drink with their cinnamon bun……..priorities , priorities!

In between my teaching sessions with the year ones next door, I sat in on some excellent talks on burns and trauma in paediatrics and pregnancy. Really clear and engaging, good involvement of the audience. It has definitely left me more able to deal with topics that would have been a bit more out of my comfort zone previously. Clearly 2 weeks on the medical wards here in which the patients start at 8 years old had broadened my horizons. So impressed as to what the new local trainers have achieved over the last week.

Lets hope this is the start of a long an successful PTC program in Lira- I am very optimistic but things are never that simple in Uganda.
Til next time, Uganda I will be back.


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