Today is Monday, November 9th and the grand opening of the new and improved Kudjip Hospital! But I have a little catching you up to do between our change of address and the grand opening...
Transferring inpatients last Wednesday was only the beginning. Over the next few days, hospital staff spent countless hours getting things ready so that we could open our doors to the public. Hundreds of medicine bottles were sorted in the pharmacy, suture and instruments and bandages were organized in the operation theater and central supply, blood pressure cuffs and x-ray view boxes were repaired and hung throughout the outpatient department. Wow, what a job. And WOW, we have a great team.
On Saturday, students and maintenance men and nurses and cleaners and missionaries all gathered together for a mumu, PNG's version of a BBQ. Two pigs, an unknown number of chickens, and mountains of kaukau (sweet potato) and kumu (greens) were roasted over the red hot coals. The missionaries contributed the cakes for dessert. Finger lickin' good stuff. No... better thank KFC. It was a wonderful time of celebrating together!
So today was the big day. We met together at 7:30 for Monday morning chapel. After a time of prayer and devotion, the docs rounded on their wards and other staff scurried to make last minute preparations. We finished rounds and headed over to the Outpatient Department (OPD) where quite a crowd was waiting to be seen. Excitement of new hospital + being closed for a few days = VERY busy day. As we worked through the morning, things went fairly smoothly. Nurses efficiently screened the patients and the clerks kept the line organized and flowing. Patients learned where to go for labs and x-ray and medications. I don't think we lost any in the process! I did a couple of procedures in the new ER. Once I found what I was looking for, I really liked the set up in there!
Of course there will be bumps along the way. The most obvious flaw so far is the noise in the OPD. It is made of cement block and the walls between the exam rooms do not go completely to the ceiling, so the sound resounds like you would not believe. You can easily hear the conversation in the next room. At times I found it difficult to talk with patients or listen with my stethoscope. And if you happen to have a screaming child in your room... be sure and protect those ear drums!
Overall the day seemed to go quite well. Thank the Lord. And thanks to all of you for your prayers!
I've added some more pictures from the last couple of days... click here to browse through the photo album.