As promised, I am back to blogging! And there is plenty to catch up on, so here goes...
Over the past 6 months or so, we have lost quite a few nursing officers to other jobs. Better pay for less work, proximity to family, educational opportunities--there are a variety of reasons. Last November, the staffing shortage became so critical that the hospital had to close its doors to "longwe" patients. This allowed us to continue caring for patients in our primary service area without overworking our remaining staff.
In January and February, two nursing officers went on medical leave and several more resigned. There were no longer enough staff to cover all shifts for inpatient, outpatient, and ER. Medical or B-ward was closed. Adult patients were moved to the north half of the pediatrics ward and the number of beds for non-surgical inpatients was cut in half.
Closing medical ward allowed us to fully open the outpatient department. We were thankful to expand our services to those from far away. However, inpatient admissions were limited. There were still many who needed hospital care. When the beds were full, the only option was to transfer to nearby hospitals. Some patients declined and choose to be treated as outpatients with close follow up. Others may have gone home to die.
We have recently started to see the light, or lights... Graduation for the College of Nursing was held mid-February. Ten recent graduates from the College of Nursing have joined our ministry at Kudjip Hospital. They are currently doing their orientation throughout various areas of the hospital. Though it will still be some weeks until they are working independently, these nurses are already making a difference. B-ward was able to re-open just this week. Sister Joyce and Mister Joseph are two of the new nurses working with me on B. They are in the center of the picture below.
Please pray for Joyce and Joseph, and the other new staff as they learn their duties and take on responsibility. And continue to pray for more lights!
"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.
~ Luke 11:33