What it really means to care...

September 25, 2014
Adam and Rafik, the sole anesthetist at Tamale West District Hospital.

Lauren Hess, Lydia VanWormer & Adam Smith
Bass Connections

400-level students had a difficult airway workshop this morning where they honed in on advanced airway skills and scenarios. The students are bonding as a class, helping each other, and jumping right into discussion and role-playing. At the end of the workshop, we had another raffle and gave away all the equipment that was used throughout the week. The hottest item on the table was definitely the Air-Traq optical laryngoscope.

An important component of this project is to better understand the implementation and impact of this program. It was encouraging to see all of the students volunteer to participate in the data collection process that will serve as valuable tool in evaluating the program and its outcomes. Hopefully the data will lay the foundation for a successful Bass project!

Adam Flowe has been cultivating a friendship over the past three years with Rafik, a local anesthetist working at a neighboring community hospital. Through this relationship, we were fortunate enough to be given a tour of the hospital campus. Rafik shared with us his story of becoming a nurse anesthetist. When he was a young boy, his brother required an urgent surgery that was put on delay due to lack of an anesthesia provider’s presence. Rafik scouted out the anesthetists that eventually did provide care for his brother, and told them that he wanted to join their profession. He did just that and now lives on campus with his wife at the Tamale West Hospital. He is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that no other patient at this facility will have to wait for anesthesia care. Rafik has been the sole anesthesia provider at Tamale West Hospital for the past three years, but thankfully an anesthesia student, graduating in April, will be joining Tamale West. Rafik’s story touched us all. He is a true testament to what it really means to care.

On our way home, we made a quick stop at a local supermarket. The hustle and bustle was a lively, cultural experience, and we sampled some Ghanaian treats. We also found a large dry-erase board to donate to the students’ classroom for their monthly on-campus meetings and activities. Our program is high-tech in many ways, but it never hurts to go back to the drawing board! :)