Week 2 – 06/11




On Monday, I got the opportunity to go into the emergency department of the hospital. I learned about the check in procedures and the flow of the emergency department. I got to meet every one in the department. I helped out with some paper work for patients. There was a complicated case about one patient that requires attention of the department head and other specialized doctors. It was interesting to see how careful doctors need to be in the emergency department because the patients’ condition is critical and needs special attention. There was a 6 months baby coming in with a fall on the head from 3 meters high. The head was swollen when he was brought in the hospital. After every thing was calm, I was thinking and talking to some students at the hospital about what possibly happened and the student said that patient reported that the baby was crawling around with out the mom’s attention and fell. The student explained to me about the culture of low income family in Vietnam that more than often the mom is doing the house work, trying to do family business of selling small snacks, and watching the baby at the same time. I stayed after for the overnight shift on Monday night. I was able to learn more about the healthcare system in Vietnam from the doctors. I was relieved to hear about funding from donors for low income family. However, I was disbelieved to learn that there was no monthly payment options or loans from the hospital. Some patients  would have to borrow money from family or neighbors.

Tuesday – I was able to observe many surgeries on this day. I first had to navigate myself to the surgery room in the morning. The doctors were so welcoming for us to go in and watch. I saw a ureteral reimplantation, a brain tumor removal, and an endoscopy. Most of cases I heard from children with low income families. I talked to students there about the correlation between low income family and the likelihood of emitting in hospital.

Wednesday – I had the opportunity to see more surgeries today. We first saw a patient with a malformed foot. The surgery team fixed the feet and put a cast on the patient. After 6 weeks, the patient will be going through physical therapy in order for the patient to get better and be able to walk normally again. The next case was a patient with ventricular septal defect. We were able to observe the surgery team working together to fix the defect in the heart. I discussed with students there about possible causes for the heart diseases cases received. They said that mostly it was from genetic and the environment, including food and social environment. We discussed about creating a flyer about my plate and healthy eating to hang in the bulletin board for patients to read and learn more about how to take care of their children and themselves. I asked patients’ parents in the waiting hall data about the meals the children and most of the parents reported giving them meals rich in rice with seasoning and lack in vegetables and fruits.

Myplate flyer  myplate snapshot

Thursday and Friday –  I had the opportunity to go to the infectious disease department of the hospital. I was with other students observing doctors discussing with patients about ways to reduce mosquitoes in the home. Many children who live in rural area are exposed to mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue, malaria, etc. I was able to learn about signs and symptoms for dengue fever and other mosquitoes-borne diseases. In the emergency department of infectious disease, I observed a suture removal on a patients’ head and a lumbar puncture to get the spinal fluid for infection testing. During the informational sessions doctors had with patients about reducing mosquitoes, I assisted with giving out brochures and water to participants.