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Showing posts from September, 2010

The first day at the clinic

I'm officially licensed, though it was no small task! As I suspected, they gave me some trouble at the hospital. Since I'm an NP and do 'clinical diagnosing', they decided I would have to go back and do another 6 weeks under the Medical Council! because that involves things 'outside the scope of practice for a nurse in Malawi'!! After several hours of making me track down random people, wait for "meetings" to finish (the official term for an extended tea break!) and testing my ability to swallow my pride and humbly apologize for causing so much confusion--they signed me through! Whew!

Today I saw patients at the clinic for the first time. It was laid-back and manageable, with plenty of time with each patient. Actually down-right luxurious compared to the hectic pace of community clinics in the US! My first patient was a little confusing--she came in complaining initially of "dry mouth and throat" which then expanded to chest pain, abdominal p…

I survived, though the patients can't all say the same

It's all unofficially over. I have most of my signatures needed from the units, minus two I have to go get tomorrow from people who weren't there today. Then on Monday I have to meet with the Head Matron (otherwise known as the Chief Nursing Officer) and get her to sign off on it all. I have nightmares that she'll find some reason to say I have to do more time, so you all can pray for that meeting!!! Then I have to go to the National Nursing Council where I'll likely sit for hours, and get them to issue me an official license (which is nothing but a stamped receipt saying I've paid for one...you would think they could have just taken my money and bypassed the whole "orientation" thing!!!)

My last week went ok. I did some time in the ER, which is just a glorified mini-surgical clinic where we inserted chest tubes, cleaned burn wounds, and cut open abscesses...none of which I handled well. I will blame it on the pregnancy, but my nursing school friends will …