By Kimberly Johnson
As a group we visited the World Mate Emergency Hospital in Battambang. This hospital is doing incredible things, with a quarter of the resources that we have in the United States. The patient population of this hospital consists of men, women, and children that have been victims of severe, and some times life threatening injuries. The most common injury that our group observed at this hospital was motor vehicle accidents, including motos. This is no surprise since Cambodia does not have any traffic laws, or helmet laws. Being an Emergency Room nurse in the states I thought I had seen some pretty graphic injuries, but the ones I observed at this hospital were truly horrific.
Some of the key observations that I saw at this hospital were:
-The patient to nurse ratio was 10 or 11:1
-There was limited or no access to key instruments we use in the states (ventilation machines, EKG monitors, etc.)
-There was no such thing as patient privacy
-The hospital had a great activities and therapy program that was extremely useful to help patients and families deal with the trauma they had experienced
The most rewarding part of visiting the World Mate Emergency Hospital was getting to work with their nurse educators in developing skills check-offs for the nursing staff. These check-offs would help measure and evaluate the nurses’ abilities to preform vital skills, like blood transfusions. With my time at the World Mate Emergency Hospital I was able to work with their nurse educator to develop an annual skills check-off for their blood transfusion procedure. This check-off is only the beginning to developing check-offs for other skills, like medication administration and SBAR report. Though there is still so much work to be done with the development of annual education and nursing competencies, I believe we have made a sustainable impact that can improve patient care.