Friday, July 25, 2014

Wrapping It Up

These past 2 weeks seem to have flown by!  Packed with lots of tasks to get done and trying to pack everything in before we had to leave, these weeks have been extremely busy but also extremely rewarding and memorable.  Last week we were finally able to get into the stock room to pull out some broken equipment that's been sitting in there and do a couple of repairs..  We also worked on a lot of documents for the hospital such as an equipment replacement plan and standard operating procedures which are needed for accreditation.  In addition to those tasks, we also had to work on our secondary project for the hospital which was making 'quick start guides' for several pieces of equipment and involved typing up 3 or 4 steps in English and Kinyarwanda on how to operate the device.  Besides our regular work at the hospital, we also needed to do several interviews with staff for a needs assessment and also create a presentation about our work the past 5 weeks for the conference this weekend.  Needless to say, it's been very busy between working at the hospital and still volunteering at the Children Might Foundation!  Time is a little tight as I wrap up everything for the end of the trip and prepare for the big conference tomorrow, so for right now I'll just post some pictures of what I've been working on but more details are to come!

One of the most fun jobs for me this trip, I got to install a new patient monitor on the ambulance!  They got the monitor out of storage, brought it into the workshop for literally 2 minutes to unpack it, and then we were off to the ambulance to install it.  I've never seen the model before and there were lots of extra probes so it turned out to be a puzzle that I had to solve of how to set it up and learn how to operate it in about 3 minutes as 4 or 5 doctors watched me and then asked for a detailed explanation of how to operate it.

One of the pulse oximeters that we found in the storage room and were able to get working again

One of the pulse oximeter probes was missing a prong and it's impossible to buy a spare probe in Rwanda without buying an entire new machine, so I cut off part of a resistor (it was the only wire we had of the right diameter) and soldered it back onto the probe.  With a little patience and a lot of focus to keep a steady hand, the make-shift prong works!

The otoscope needed a very specific type of bulb to replace the old one that was burnt out but we couldn't find a replacement after scouring about 10 shops in Kigali, so we improvised!  Using a $0.33 LED flashlight that we had in our toolkit and some electrical tape, we were able to modify the otoscope so it can be used again.  This new design even allows it to be portable and the LEDs will last much longer!

One of the fetal monitors needed a new thermal printing system and we also had another broken monitor of the same model, so I swapped the printing systems and the new one is working as it should!

After spending several days working on this fetal monitor and reading about 5 manuals on it, I was so excited to finally see this printing
Testing a patient monitor to check that the blood pressure, pulse oximeter, and ECG components are all properly functioning

A doctor or nurse said that the pulse oximeter probe on this patient monitor was not working, but after testing it, I learned that the probe is location-specific.  Since the outer casing had fallen off or broke off, there was no indicator to allow the prongs to only be plugged in the correct way.  I simply drew lines on the machine and probe which need to be lined up for the sensor to work and explained to the staff how it must be used.

The binder of Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.s) that we made for the hospital as part of our secondary project

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