This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.
Today another faculty member, George, and I arranged for the 3rd Year Pharmacy Students to have a tour of Mulago National Referral Hospital with the help of the Pediatric Pharmacist, Helen. Although most of the students had been to Mulago in some capacity before, this was the first time they were going to the Wards to learn about what patients are taken care of on each ward and to learn how to navigate this HUGE hospital complex. It can be a scary place because there are so many people, and you never know what kind of situation you will run into as you go through the halls.
You may see someone walking with blood dripping from his arm or children whimpering in pain or a woman wailing over the recent death of a loved one. I remember a few years ago one of the first sights my students and I saw at Mulago Hospital was a young child with severe burns over more than ½ of his body. When you are a student and just starting to work in the wards, and not quite sure of your role, it is easy to think that you are just going to be “in the way”. But, the pharmacy students do play a very important role.
They usually have more to spend with the patients and by using their newly learned interview skills, they can find out very helpful information about the details of the medications the patient has been on in the past or how they are tolerating them now.
The students can often learn important information that can be provided to the physician and other healthcare providers to help lead to a better health outcome for the patient.
Next week this new group of pharmacy students will venture to the hospital on their own and start interacting with the patients and caregivers for real.
There is a beautiful view overlooking Kampala from the Upper Campus