EMERGENCY ENCOUNTER WITH A SPECIAL NEEDS PATIENT

As we go about our daily business and interactions in life, communication is key if we are to be successful. This becomes even critical when people with special needs such as those with hearing impairment are involved, unlike those who can hear and speak. According to World health organization (WHO), there is an estimate of one billion people living with disability worldwide and these face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, these individuals don’t enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others in various areas. It’s because of such challenges that 3rd December is the international day of persons with disabilities.
From my clinical work experience, it becomes worse if one is to undergo surgery and you cannot communicate well with this person. Just the other day, I got challenged and deep inside me, it dawned on that I need to acquire more communication skills to serve my clients better.
It all started with a 7 a.m. call from the facility emergency line. Heavy on sleep, I lazily picked the phone and the midwife informed me that there was an emergency on the ward. As I usually do, I asked for a brief on the reported emergency.
“A mother just delivered normally but she is bleeding from her private parts, and we think its cervical tear, the uterus is well contracted, and the placenta was complete with no remains in the womb,” the midwife responded to my inquiries.
Quickly, I jumped out of my bed, washed my face and rushed to the ward. There, lay this lady in her mid-20s in a moderate pool of blood, I quickly put on my gloves, and did a quick examination. And indeed, there were big tears on the 9 and 3 clock positions. In a bid to help I had to instruct my patient to change to a bed where I can easily have clear vision and as I started talking to her, I was informed by the midwife that she doesn’t hear me, it was a bit embarrassing I would say .Luckily One of the senior Midwives had some skills with sign languages so the patient was instructed, under silent seduction ,we managed to repair the tear and the bleeding was arrested.
Finally the young one had a chance to have its first meal through breast-feeding after all was well for its mother.
Lessons
1. Need of sign language training among the health workers.
2. Teamwork is the key to all emergency situations