My day yesterday didn't go as expected. I expected to work an evening shift on B (or A) ward. I was asked instead to go to the Outpatients department. Which meant getting up for breakfast... oh poor me, I can't sleep in. Poor me, I need to jump into an area I don't know. Yup, I was deep into "woe-is-me" as I started the day. Okay, maybe not that bad, but a little. My attitude could definitely have been better. But new experience = stress = small internal freak outs about inadequacy = not at my best.
Deep breath, get over yourself, get the most out of this... they obviously think you're capable... or flexible... hahaha. Ya, the note on my door asking me to work outpatients is one that is well known to the hospital staff: "blessed are the flexible" followed by how you can help by being flexible. But I digress. I got over myself, kind of, and hid my nervousness as best I could by moving forward and doing what I was asked. To be honest, I kind of wanted to try working in outpatients just to see what it was like. The first couple of hours I felt a little useless as there weren't enough spaces for all of us to work, but I made use of it by learning how things went and lending a hand however I could.
I'm now convinced that working in outpatients once a week or so would be the perfect way to raise the spirits of the nurses on the wards (hey, it worked for me!) I got to see some of my favorite patients, ones who have stories I still need to tell here. I got to see smiles so big on some that had healed or were almost healed. I got to hug some as they were leaving, for good, to go home whole. Healed.
It's... such a reminder why we're here. An infusion of joy! Beautiful Esther, who I think I'll dig up some photos on and tell you about soon... Binta, down to just one wound, smiling and happier than I'd ever seen her... Mbalu, still struggling with wounds and yet so positive, her eyes so expressive... The kids bouncing in the chairs waiting their turns to be seen, making silly faces and acting like they're there for a visit not a dressing change.
It was refreshing.