My Pre-PA Experience
My experience in Kenya was absolutely amazing and I would go back in a heart beat. I went to Mombasa and worked in Coast Provincial General Hospital. It is a larger hospital and you have a lot more opportunity. I was worried when I first found the program that I would maybe just be observing or something. That was definitely not the case at all. As a Pre-PA I was paired with a Clinical Officer there, which is our equivalent to a PA pretty much. I spent my four weeks going around the different wards seeing and doing a bunch of things I could never do here in the States. When I was there there were 4 English, 4 Australians, 6 Norwegians, and 2 American interns. Most of them were studying to be doctors. Having them around and in the hospital really helped as well because I would go with them some days to minor theater (where minor surgeries are done) and would first show and then teach me how to do it and then I was able to assist. I was able to shadow in variety of procedures such as Catheters, injections, IVs, sutures, resuscitate a baby, watch C sections, watch a major surgery, and examine women in the AnteNatal ward. I found that for the first week I was just getting used to the hospital and doing a lot of observing and learning. So the first week was a lot of observing but also getting to learn how to examine patients. The weeks following were when I got to assist in minor surgeries and other exams.
Besides the hospital though you do so much with the program. We volunteered at two schools and one we went 2x a week and taught in their classrooms (just simple math or something) and then played sports with them after or sang and danced. Then on Wednesdays they would come to our residence and we would teach them how to swim. This is where I found I learned the most about the people there, the culture, and a lot about myself was during this time with the children and adults. You also get a chance to go on safari which I definitely recommend. It will give you a break and is so amazing. I found that I enjoyed the hospital even more after my safari.