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Being Super In Your Own Way

Okay the heading doesn't really fancy a lot of bureaucratic fanatics but for many people who want success in their work having a good team is always a good tale. I would like to share with the readers what most already know but always forget lest ignore the importance of appreciating supporting servicemen and women. One group in particular I would like to make mention more are the nurses, nurse aides, porters, plaster men, physiotherapists and the list goes on. Long before most of these works were done by doctors or so called medicine men that are very skillful and gifted people with their hands. How to make casts, how to do close reductions for joint dislocations, how to sit and talk quality time with family members of patients. These were qualities once cherished and made people appreciate them.

My stay in St.Gallen introduced me to quite a few of these men who were extremely good at what they do best. Rolf is an OT orderly like our own Mr. Peter Felo at the National Referral Hospital who's responsibility is to make sure patients are positioned in the appropriate way which is safe not only for him but also for the surgeon to do the operation easy. These highly skilled personnel are trained only in St. Gallen of which Rolf a nurse by profession started a few years back. Now slowly being accepted these people can do a job which will cut down a lot on waiting time and probably improve the quality of patient care in the operating rooms. Another group was the plaster men of St. Gallen, Mr. Andres Gomez and Josef Gmeiner, these two I was told were the best in the whole of Europe in the art of making cast during a competition held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Ops Pfleger team Lorela, Josef, Dr Munamua and Andres
Rolf, second from left, and the Ops Pfleger team, St Gallen, 2010 Lorela, Josef, Dr Munamua and Andres in the plaster room

During my stay I learnt simple tips and tricks why and how you make good functional splints of the ankle, shoulder and the wrist. This is one skill which I believe will be very applicable in the Solomon Islands where conservative management is very common.

Another area is diabetic feet and chronic ulcer management. The usage of full weight bearing casts an option without surgical intervention but requires a lot of dressing and consultations by trained teams in wound care.

Doing advanced fellowship training always takes you too high to see what is really necessary in treating patients but it also gives one the opportunity to learn from other teams who are good at doing specific skills in managing the same patients.

To the St Gallen teams: I thank you for having me and wish you all a blessed summer and an extremely cold winter, Ha! Ha! Cheers.

Your friend

Dr Alex Munamua
Spital Interlaken
August 2010

© August 2010, Dr Alex Bradley Munamua