A Slight Turn of Events

Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
Chiangmai Ram Hospital

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 17, 2011

Awoke this morning to find out that I had 2 sick students. I have had a few students complaining of GI upset but one of the students became a little worse than the others. So, we decided to make a visit to the local private hospital. Well I must say that I have been very impressed with the delivery of health care at this hospital. As we pulled up to the hospital we were greeted by 2 hospital personnel and a wheelchair. We were taken directly to a private room in the ED. Care was delivered immediately. We waited for the doctor for maybe 10 minutes. He gave verbal orders, the nurses immediately carried them out and in 10 minutes we were escorted to the International Ward and the VIP suite. Impressive huh? The private room has a modern private bathroom, small kitchen with table and chairs, sitting area, sleeping area for me and then the patient area. Our room has a TV, DVD player and WiFi. I can't complain. The nurses knock on the door prior to entering and they are so accommodating. We only plan to be here for 24 hrs. All is well and the student's family has been notified.

Some interesting observations I made today include the following:
1) No one ever asked for patient identification prior to administering medications. Interesting when in USA we now have to ask name and birth date.
2) The pharmacy has a robotic system that packages all pills into one package for the same scheduled time.They said the medication errors are almost eliminated with this system.  Pretty impressive, huh. The nurse brings in the packet of medicine and lays it beside the patient bed. They do not know if and when the medication was administered.
3) When Thai people are sick they drink warm drinks. When Americans are sick we eat ice and drink cold drinks with ice. This appears to be a foreign concept. They look at us and respond as if we are crazy.
4)When IV meds are hung as a secondary infusion they are not run through an IV pump. They are hung by gravity.
5)Meals are brought to the rooms and set down on the dining table. They do not give it to the patient
6)MD makes more rounds than American MDs. The MD came to the room several times throughout the day to give us an update on lab results and medical condition.
7)Staff does not understand that you cannot receive an oral temperature when the patient just got through drinking ice water. Surprise, No Fever:)

The remaining students attended a morning orientation session on the "7-Tool Community Assessment" used by the Thai nurses. Following the session the students ate lunch and departed for Maegumpong at 12:30 pm. The students will stop at Mae-On Hospital on the way to the village.This hospital is very interesting as their focus is on alternative medicine. The students will learn about acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Thai massage. I know they will enjoy their visit.

I informed the students that if anyone experienced motion sickness they must take Dramamine prior to departing the hospital. The ride to Mae-On Village is a road that snakes up a mountain. From experience I would rather have students sleepy than sick. Upon their arrival at the village the students will be grouped in 3 and assigned to 2 nursing faculty (who will serve as translators). They will be introduced to their Kuhn Mae (mom) and Kuhn Pa (father) and will be assisted to their homes. The students will get settled into their new homes and dinner will be served. I received a call from Aj Chang and she reports all is well with everyone. I am so thankful for my Thai family who takes care of our every need. Khob kuhn mak kah.

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Karen on

Sounds more like a hotel than a hospital! Hope all is well there and in the village!

Carolyn Kreamer on

Hope everyone is recovering. I'm so sorry about all this illness, but it certainly sounds as though the VIP treatment is pretty nice--all in all. Blessings to everyone for a good week--free of any illness.

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