Days start at the hospital here, just like back home when there are newborns or patients on the pediatric ward. First, we round on yesterday’s patients and send some of them home, then we check the patients scheduled for surgery today to make sure no one has fever, cough or cold symptoms that would increase the risk of anesthesia and cause their surgery to be cancelled.
The first patients come down to the operating room to change. We start their IVs and they go in for their procedures. Each surgeon has at least five patients scheduled a day. The babies and toddlers go first since older children can fast longer. After surgery, patients come to the PACU to recover. Once they are awake, they can go up to the floor.
I am writing this in a lull: the OR nurses came to say that there was no running water for them to sterilize the instruments. Cases are on hold.
Each hospital room has six beds. We have two rooms for our patients. Shoes are left outside the room. Parents stay with small children; family members wait in the open air corridors where they sleep and take their meals they have brought to the hospital. There is a posted list of hospital fees and a suggestion box. One night post-operative care is 120,000 dong, which works out to US $6.
The water is flowing again. Back to work.