Below are excerpts from interviews with the recent graduates of the Emergency and Critical Care Clinical Officer fellowship. The ECCCO program, developed by Dr. Burton Lee and Dr. Evelyn Mbugua and facilitated by many Kijabe consultants, is designed to increase the medical knowledge of Clinical Officers and also to offer discipleship and mission experiences.
Ken – I like working in casualty because things there move fast and there is a lot of change that you see physically with patients once they come into the ED. When patients come they are really sick. You get them stabilized, you identify the issues, you work with the consultants.
How do you see God working at Kijabe?
Most of the people who come here are looking for a cure or physically remedy. They will know that God worked in some kind of way in Kijabe when they are healed. . .we have impact on their lives not just in terms of their illness, but spiritually. Kijabe is a small heaven to patients. I have had the opportunity to mentor patients of different religions in casualty and the ICU to impact on their life so they can see the way of Christ in our day-to-day actions.
How do you feel like you have grown as a health-care worker?
Grace – Initially I was working in the wards, but I was so interested in the ECCCO program. Whatever you do in emergency care, it is going to affect care when the patient is in the wards and even the outcome. Sometimes I would be doing the rounds and we would see that something was amiss in casualty. And I decided I wanted to go there and see what difference I could make. Instead of blaming others, I wanted to do something. Because it is very critical for what you do in casualty, the management, determines the outcome on wards.
Joseph – The ECCCO program has mentored me and made me grow. As far as knowledge is concerned, as far as spiritual growth is concerned. It has made me able to understand how to deal with patients. Not only is physical care important, but spiritual care is important. I have become more competent and confident in managing patients in acute care settings.
I am able to save peple’s lives. You have to take actions very fast, whatever you do in casualty, if an intervention is delayed you may lose a patient, but if you act quickly and do what you are trained to do, you may save a person’s life. Dr. Halestrap, Dr. Lee, I think they had seen some gaps in the hospital, and the level of care in the hospital has improved. It’s awesome
Hannah – How big a role do clinical officers play in patient care? There are many clinical officers in the medical field – they are primary care, the first to have contact with patients, so they are very important in preventative and curative medicine. There is a big population of patients out there and there is a scarcity of medical officers, so clinical officers play a big role, especially in rural settings.
Do you feel different in how you approach a patient? I have been in Kijabe now for a year and a month. In the wards, someone has already made a diagnosis. But when you are the first to approach the patient, you see them differently. Putting a responsibility on you, because if you miss something in casualty, it might also be missed on wards.
Do you have prayers that you pray for your patients? In casualty it is pretty hard, you are doing a lot of running. But you pray for a calm day, and for wisdom to make the right decisions. Sometimes you pray with them and the family. Patients find confidence if they see their doctor praying, that they are also able to pray.
David – What I like about working at Kijabe is that caregiving at Kijabe is holistic, we not only look at medical, but at spiritual part of the care. We put health-care first, we are not looking at the money in the case of an emergency. In case of an emergency that comes in, my friends tell me that we are the only hospital that admits a patient in the ICU without a deposit. We provide the healthcare with ethics – we worry about giving the best care.
I have learned a lot, if I look at back when I came to Kijabe I spent 2-3 months in outpatient. I have learned a lot through Dr. Halestrap, and it has improved my confidence. Before you work in casualty, most healthcare workers are afraid of working in accident/emergency. But after you have worked there, and gotten the experience of working in accident/emergency, you just like coming to work there. You see what you are doing, you see patients lives changing, and you are happy.