Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I am a little tired right now. But I should be. Today was a bit busy.

I am working 55 hours this week. At home I work 36 hours a week (if I got out on time). It's a little draining but I love being a nurse in Africa.

Today three of my five patients were children. This always makes me happy. My 10 month old child was spiking fevers. At home, when a child spikes, we ask ourselves what might be infected. A catheter? A central line? An abscess somewhere?

But in Africa we think one thing: Malaria.

In the time it takes to read this email, at least two African children will have died from Malaria. Malaria kills two African children a minute. It is a major cause of death under age five.

After several attempts we were able to draw the blood needed for a malaria test. Of course, being less than a year of age, the child freaked out when we stuck him. I had to utilize my entire upper body to keep him still while he screamed in my ear. Welcome to pediatric nursing.

I felt so sad for him. He was terrified of anyone with white skin. If I were him, I would be too.
We had to postpone his surgery for his bilateral club feet until his malaria is treated. Assuming that it the cause of his fevers. His mom was quite amazing throughout the blood drawl process. I have seen parents have very adverse reactions to the screams of their children. She held him quietly and calmly. No anger of annoyance was shown toward the staff. I liked her.

I like being a nurse in Africa.

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