By Caroline Kelly

This week has been a good and productive one!

Sam and I started our data collection for the current practice audit – all going smoothly so far and hopefully will provide the team with useful data for future changes and practice developments. The physios on ICU seem to be building in confidence with patients through our presence on the unit with them. We are hoping that can be transferred to their peers through sharing knowledge and experiences to keep that confidence up when we have gone!

We also completed our first teaching session on auscultation – a skill that many physios know about, that doctors are under the impression they are doing, and yet are never actually taught the skill of doing. This teaching went down extremely well! Everyone seemed to enjoy the session being more interactive and practical and they are keen to start practicing their
new skill following the teaching. We are still to evaluate the post-teaching feedback so who knows if it really did help?! We also managed to meet with the PDT (physiotherapy development team) this week to discuss how the team had been getting on since first forming, discussing the longevity of the team and how they would like to move forward with their development. There were so many different topics raised we know we are going to
need a few of these meetings for sure! Next week is rotation week, so we are anticipating having to take more time to explain the audit and ICU process with the new physios (PTs) on rotation, but this will be useful to identify initial rotation knowledge and confidence.

Robyn made great progress within her time on Neuro Intensive Care Unit this week. She has re-shifted focus to be primarily with TBI (traumatic brain injury) patients in the neuro intensive care unit and neurosurgical wards. She is busy trying to form new connections and build good relationships with the other clinicians to learn how she can best support on the research project for Family Early Warning Scores.

We all attended a lunch time talk from one of the International Global Health (IGH) fellows, presenting on her project with medicines management. It was really interesting and gave us further inspiration to refocus on the goals we are trying to achieve while out here! We then went for lunch with the three IGH fellows and set up more social occasions for the week – drink and draw evening, dinner and live jazz, Christmas carol concerts, and market browsing. It feels really good to be connecting with more people here who are keen to be involved in lots of activities outside of work – also extremely helpful that they can give us local tips for things we don’t know about yet! Sam is also making more friends through the football team he has joined, and while writing this blog entry he is out playing Sunday morning golf with a few of them!

During the week, one of the physiotherapists invited us to her wedding (which is next weekend!). None of us have ever been to a Burmese wedding before, so we were frantically asking the other physios for advice on what to wear, cultural traditions etc. A couple of the physios who we have worked more closely with over the week, Noreen and Thiri, offered to take us shopping to find wedding appropriate traditional Burmese clothing. This turned out to be a challenging task for me as I am 5ft.9 – much taller than the average woman here so choices were limited! After what seemed like forever, we had found all three of us something to wear, which we celebrated over much deserved noodles and ice-cream. It was so lovely to spend time with our Burmese colleagues outside the hospital – it really is amazing how friendly and genuinely caring everyone is, considering they’ve only known us for a couple of weeks.

Here it is then! Another week in Yangon rounded off with a positive weekend and readiness for the week ahead!

Until next time,