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Derby Hospital

Written on: Thursday July 26th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Today was our first experience of the hospital. From the outside, it looks much like a private hospital in the UK. From the inside, it is very small, but clean and well-equipped.

There are 3 wards in the hospital - general, paediatric and maternity. We will mainly be based around the paediatric ward, apparently, despite asking to do general medicine here (yet another cock-up a la John Boulton), but the paediatricians are very laid back, and so don't mind us doing our own thing anyway!

There is also an Emergency Department, which acts as an A&E would in the UK. The cases are slightly different though, with the majority being Aboriginal people who have various interesting complaints. This can include anything from skin boils, to spear injuries. Marvellous. The Aboriginal people are unlike any race that I have ever come across before, and I feel that they need an entire blog entry dedicated to them!

Anyway, our first day in the hospital... We met Benedicta, the paediatric registrar who is based here, and Cathy McAdam, who is a locum consultant from Melbourne. Cathy decided that we should join them on the ward round, so we were straight into it - no pussyfooting around here. The round was interesting, with only a few children to see, but fascinating cases. Most of the patients are aboriginal children, and because of the situation in the communities (which I will go into later!), the children don't always have the best upbringing possible. One poor kid had been deserted by his 19 year old mother, who thought it was the doctors' jobs to look after her child. She'd left for Broome for the weekend, leaving her son at the hospital alone. He had some serious neurological difficulties, probably as a result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and will possibly be taken into foster care.

We saw around 4 or 5 children on the ward round, and then we were free for the rest of the morning, so we headed back to the house. Just as we were walking into the housing area, we saw Christy, one of the nursing students living in Duncan's house. She was on her way out in the car, sightseeing, so we hitched a ride to see some of the things Derby had to offer.