Week 2 at Saint Joseph Hospital

Posted on 9 November 2017

Categories: Blog, Physiothérapie Sans Frontières

Week two had so many highlights, where to begin! As mentioned in the last post, it’s taking some time to get used to the “pole pole” (slow in Swahili) pace in Tanzania. As many other Canadians, we are always on the go and trying to do a million things at once, in Tanzania the people enjoy taking their time for everything they do.

On a typical work day at the Saint Joseph hospital there are morning prayers and rounds, where all the healthcare professionals gather to discuss any patient status changes that occurred during the night shift. There will often be little information lectures given by one of the medical doctors, or other staff.

After round, we are lucky enough to have at least an hour to review evaluation and treatment techniques with Fides, our physio! This allows us to fine tune her skills in evaluating certains joints (this week we covered the lumbar spine, cervical spine, the knee and the shoulder)! We came to realize that Fides is a very quick learner and we’re lucky enough to immediately be able to apply the things we discuss with the patients we see during the week!

On Tuesday we met with Sister Luyimo and Fides to give the hospital the two full suitcases of donations we had brought which included braces, tapes and various books. They were very appreciative of what we have brought them from Canada. Our next step will be to educate both Fides and the orthopaedic staff on the proper use of the braces we have brought.

Swahili is an ongoing challenge but our non verbal has never been better. We have managed to learn to count from 1-10 in Swahili (it was a lot harder than expected, but Harison, our six year old patient helped us get there- and yes he dressed up in a suit to come see us for his physio session)!

One of the major perks of volunteering at Saint Joseph Hospital is the amazing view we get of Mount Kilimanjaro when the sky clears up!

Achievement of the week: the two of us managed to do a subjective evaluation / history with a client in Swahili!

Time goes by very quickly and we have only 5 days left but we look forward to our awaiting challenges next week!

Kwa heri (goodbye in Swahili)



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