March 17, 2014
We are at Mubende District Hospital in Uganda. This is ITW’ s first opportunity to train at a government facility, a very exciting step. There are 10 very eager nurse-midwives from 5 different rural clinics that will begin ultrasound scanning for the first time today. They come to learn ultrasound so that they can bring this back to their rural clinic, providing a service that will save many women and babies lives in their villages.
They listened to many lectures the evening before, so much new information. Today they begin the hands on training, putting that new knowledge into action. They received training in basic computer skills, clinical workflow, ultrasound scanning and basic ultrasound interpretation. A very ambitious agenda, one that I have experienced the Ugandan midwives embracing over an over again. They work so hard and strive for competence, and they always achieve it. It’s an amazing process to watch unfold.
We began our day at 7:30 am, arriving at the hospital with row upon row of pregnant mothers waiting for their opportunity to receive an obstetrical ultrasound scan, something they do not yet receive as part of their standard of care here, therefor they come early with a great expectation and much patience as they wait their turn. They are greeted by our trainees and brought into one of our training rooms. It is a beautiful thing to watch how the nurse midwives interact with these women, with such compassion and connection. The mothers are a little nervous about this new experience of having an ultrasound, but I watch as they exchange the local language and watch as smiles and ease begins to emerge. There is nothing we need to teach in the way of patient care here…and perhaps they enrich many of us non-Ugandans in this way.
The team continues to work as the hours come and go and soon darkness creeps in. Hours of learning and scanning has taken place. The trainees move from awkwardness to emerging confidence and as the sun sets, though there is fatigue in the eyes and bodies of many, grins begin to emerge as the trainees begin to feel a sense of ease and pride in all that they have accomplished.