13 September, 2010

Nurse Kate

Kate is a nurse who is in Cambodia for a while…she actually keeps extending her stay (currently indefinitely :-) another humanitarian who realized that there is so much to experience in life so why wait until tomorrow; when there is always today.

Last week, while she was at Wat Opot, her medical skills were tested and since I can’t describe her experience, she graciously allowed me to take this from her blog:

This week at Wat Opot, I got a chance to practice nursing again. I administered my first pediatric IV (on the first try!!) to a child who had had a fever for 5 days and was incredibly dehydrated. The boy, Sompoa, was so good and did not complain at all. In Cambodia, and most third world countries, they use a strange kind of IV with no catheter, just the needle. When you first take it out of the packaging, its just a needle with a tube attached to it. It was like nothing I had ever seen and I was honestly very nervous, but I did OK. I thought for sure Sompoa would be in pain and discomfort having a long needle just sitting in his arm for 8 hours, but he didn't say a word. While staying in the hospice with the IV drip, I also had another patient, a smaller boy also with a high fever.

Kate is being modest when she said she “did OK”. She was EXCELLENT, caring and genuinely doted on the two boys all day. As the day moved the boys rested and later that day, they were feeling well enough to eat some food while watching Finding Nemo on my computer.

As always there is never a dull moment at Wat Opot, Kate found herself doctoring a sore foot on Sahone as well; and what medical treatment would be complete without some lady walking in with a fish to ask Wayne if she could get a discount (or perhaps free of charge) because it was dead! (Chances are that she had caught the fish out of our pond, killed it and then came in making her request - Honesty is not always a Khmer’s strongest trait…)


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