By Sam Coleman

So the week began for Caroline and I further supporting the physiotherapist in ICU. Nothing drastic to report from the first day of the week but on returning to the department we had the approval for the change in rotation structure on ICU from the professor. However, this took the form of an extra two members of staff, with two of the three members being static and one rotational. This news was fantastic and something that will hopefully facilitate many more changes and developments. We also completed a teaching based on oxygen delivery. We felt some attendees were thoroughly interested and engaged and perhaps some a little less . You can’t win them all I guess…

That evening we were invited to our “welcome” dinner by the physiotherapy professor (she did apologise that it took this long but we were all aware that she is an incredibly busy woman). This was a most relaxed  meals and we were all made to feel warm and comfortable. Caroline even decided to wear her traditional dress given to her at the New Year’s party.

With the change in structure, Caroline and I found ourselves having to adjust the support strategy that we have been adopting on ICU. We decided one of would mentor one of the static physios with their ongoing ICU learning, whilst the other helps the other static member with mentoring the rotational staff member. A slightly different slant on our support but still very promising. Otherwise the day consisted of finalising the teaching materials for the joint nursing/physiotherapy teaching planned for the next day.

Wednesday saw the three of us LTVs complete a teaching to both nurses and physios together. We were all incredibly pleased with how this went and how well everybody worked together. We combined lecture based learning with practical observations and peer discussion which worked amazingly. Happy days!

The next day we saw a fantastic display of joint working between physio and nursing whilst on ICU so it appears as though our teaching has had an immediate impact. We were made aware that some nurses were unable to attend the teaching and Robyn was keen to complete the same teaching for the neuro ICU nursing staff, so we may well complete another round of the same teaching for everyone’s benefit.

Robyn continued to split her time between teaching on the neuro ICU and working on family interviews for traumatic brain injury (TBI) research. This involves scouring the charts and trying to follow certain patients throughout their time in the neurosurgical wards. Turns out it’s just as hard to read doctor’s handwriting in Myanmar as it is anywhere else. Below is a group of nurses  deciphering notes. Another great reason to work towards a transition to electronic medical records! Later Robyn took a field trip with some of the nurses to the hospital’s medical storeroom and got to ride in the ambulance on the way back!

So another productive week with some huge changes to structure within ICU for physiotherapy. The training sessions completed over the weeks were incredibly productive and seem to have made an instant impact both for the physiotherapists and nurses. Hopefully this will last for some time. As for weekend plans, we decided to take a trip to Inle Lake (a highly recommended place to visit in Myanmar) but sadly this did mean another 12-hour overnight bus journey each way. The things you do to see the sights…Until next week!