Yesterday we started the 2nd leg of our grand hospital tour. This stop -Al Yamamah children’s and maternity. We knew it was going a difficult transition starting from scratch but we were up for the challenge. Unfortunately we didn’t think they would be so off the mark for a NICU. Not only do they not have essential equipment like monitor leads, temp probes or ambu bags. They also don’t have the staff. Nurses are taking up to 4 patients at a time, one (or 2) of these patients being intubated. There are 2 RT’s for the entire hospital. They work 12-16 hours a day 5 days a week – all straight time. The equipment is so dated and tattered that it takes over an hour to set up a vent without a leaky circuit. Andrea was quite entertained watching the assembly ‘procedure’ today. By the time they do a round of vent checks and set up stand by equipment the day is pretty much shot. They do not have nursing aides or equipment techs so it is the responsibility of the nurse to clean the isolettes and other medical equipment while caring for their patients. We really hope we can implement some positive changes with out remaining time here but Im sure what can be done until the staffing matrix is modified.
Anyways on a lighter note Tonight was Jane (housekeeper/little sister to us all) birthday. We wanted to take her out to celebrate but couldn’t convince her to give up her duties for one night, so we brought the party to her. We ordered chinese food and picked up a cake. Back home this process would normally take an hour (maybe less). In Saudi it takes 3 hours – plus. Even planning our outing around prayer we still always seem to get stuck waiting to enter or leave a store. It was well worth the wait though, we even got Jane to relax a bit while we ate dinner and dessert!
Dr. Swenson to arrives tonight, lets hope he can handle us. It will be nice to have fresh meat in the house!! We’ll have him post tomorrow so we can fill ya in on his first day on the job.