Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heroes: Each of the Health Assistants, Nurses, Pharmacist, Lab Technicians, and Patient Registrar

After walking between 20 minutes and several days to reach the hospital, our patients interact with an entire team of individuals each time they visit the hospital. This team registers the over 200 daily patients, takes vital signs, provides the diagnostic and therapeutic services, runs lab tests, distributes medications, and supports our patients and their families through difficult times. We feel privileged to have interacted with each member of this team. Each of them has gone out of their way to welcome us into the Nyaya family and to show us how the hospital actually operates. 

The health assistants tend to be among the longest-term employees of Nyaya Health. They have truly help shape the organizational culture and many provide insiders’ perspectives on life in Achham. Each day we see them passionately treating patients for a wide variety of conditions. Whether Taraman is explaining how the hospital treats and tracks TB patients or we’re meeting with Mahindra to discuss the new HIV initiatives or Uday is following up with a patient who has a severe mental illness, we know that each of the patients receives high quality care because they are in the health assistants’ hands.

The nurses provide many of the hospital’s primary services such as ante-natal care and in-patient care. These women are among the kindest people you could ever meet and are incredibly attentive to the patients. The nurses also always look for ways to improve the quality of service they can provide. Asha, the Nurse in Charge, recently initiated a continuing medical education program for all of the nurses. During the session David and I led on epidemiology, the nurses leaned in for a wonderful and insightful discussion. 

The pharmacist, Raviman, lifts the spirits of every patient and staff member as an outgoing member of the Nyaya family. Raviman always is around to make you laugh but he also takes his responsibilities very seriously. Not only does he care very much that the patients are provided with the correct drugs and dosages, he also cares that they are provided with adequate instruction and counseling to maintain proper treatment plans. He has great insight into the ways the systems can be improved at Bayalpata Hospital.

With the recent expansion of the lab services at Bayalpata Hospital, Bishnu Kunwar as the lab technologist and Dorna and Rajendra as the lab assistants have their work cut out for them trying to run labs in a matter of a few hours each day before the patients have to begin their treks home. However, the lab team can be found in the lab well into the night or on their day off running tests to ensure that our patients are diagnosed properly. They are quite excited to offer the most up-to-date lab tests, including several tests that are exclusively offered at Bayalpata Hospital in all of Achham.

These individuals, and each of the others who interact with our patients each day, are heroes.

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