Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Doing it all in high heels and backwards

As I’ve been discussing some of my frustrations and stresses of work in Congo with fellow missionaries, I’ve gained some perspective. One asked “Would you have the same sort of responsibilities if you practiced in the US?” Let’s make a comparison:

US physician responsibilities:
See patients-inpatient and outpatient
Fill out miles of paperwork for insurance companies 
Complete Gigabytes of electronic medical records
Collaborate with others within the practice (business stuff)
Take call-medicine and obstetrics
Other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten

My responsibilities as a physician here:
See patients-inpatients and outpatients
Fill out small booklets as the patients medical record, which they usually carry with them
Fill out the minimalistic chart we use on inpatients
Perform cesarian sections
Perform exploratory laparotomies
Perform other random surgeries ranging from urological procedures (repaired a man’s ruptured bladder last week), to orthopedics (I have amputated fingers, toes, done larger amputations), neurosurgery (assisted to elevate a depressed skull fracture), general surgery (bowel resection, repair of gastric ulcers), to plastics (repair of lip which was bitten off in a fight).
Assist with ordering medications, keeping stock in pharmacy
Be the social worker, discharge planner, nutritionist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and perform patient education
Know how the electrical system at the hospital works, know how to turn on the generator, and trouble shoot minor electrical problems
Over see ‘wound clinic’
Manage financial issues such as encouraging people to pay their bill, and sometimes reducing the bill so they can go home.
Assist with deliveries
Perform and interpret ultrasounds
Deal with the preoccupations of medical and non-medical staff
Read x-rays

Now, do all these things in French and/or Lingala

So why am I stressed?

1 comment:

Trixy Franke said...

Gee...I wonder! You are amazing, woman!