One week in and ready to go!
I will be working on B ward, which is the Plastics unit. Unlike what you'd think plastic surgery is all about in the States, these procedures are about function, not aesthetics. For example, a severe burn can cause contractures to the point that a person cannot use a limb or even walk. The surgeon uses a skin graft to release that tight skin and restore function to the affected limb, but only after weeks and possibly months of healing and rehab. This is just one example of a plastics case, more to come.
This last week has been all about prepping the wards for the patients and preparing us new nurses for their care.
We will have Day Workers, who are local translators, working alongside us.
The nurses station is quite small...well the whole unit is small. It's going to get VERY crowded!
I am in a 4-berth cabin with only 2 other cabin mates. Lucy and I are both working on B ward and Theresa (far right) is a nurse in the operating room (OR).
Deck 7 provides from great views of the port and the sunsets. The weather has been quite cool when it's cloudy and being so close to the water, there seems to always be a good breeze.
I've ventured out in Cotonou a few times. I went to an arts and craft market with these girls. The shopping lasted 10 minutes and then we sat in a bar (drinking what we'd ordered as Coke and came out looking like Fanta) to recover from all the vendor-hassling.
Another day trip led to this pool. The pool guy let us in for free when he found out we were nurses on the Mercy Ship.
Truthfully, the last week has included more downtime than I bargained for. I'm so thankful to have Lucy to sit around and laugh with. She's teaching me Australian. Haha!
Surgeries have officially started this week and that means I'll have stories to tell very soon!