Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
My experience working at St. Paul’s Specialized General Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, was extraordinarily rewarding. I worked with some truly dedicated people who not only helped me navigate the ins and outs of the hospital, but also taught me more about Ethiopian culture. I was initially assigned to the patient flow and medical records team—which was responsible for implementing the new guidelines created by the Ministry of Health—but I ended up tackling a variety of management issues. This project markedly improved medical record accuracy by increasing accountability; created a medical equipment inventory system so the hospital can better manage their biomedical equipment and allowed the hospital to better know the functional status of their machines and where the machines are located at any particular moment. This project also developed the hospital’s very first admission and discharge policies; streamlined patient flow; developed a computer-based bed-management tracking system; and laid the groundwork for an outpatient preoperative clinic, which should shorten the one-year waiting list by allowing the hospital to perform an additional 620 surgeries per year through increased bed turnover. Additionally, I rolled out tuberculosis (TB) isolation rooms, thereby separating TB patients from those with HIV, congestive heart failure and myriad other non-surgical conditions. This internship gave me the opportunity to fully use the skills I learned in the Health Management Program and to make a lasting difference at this hospital. It is an experience I will never forget.
Katrina Sohrakoff - Ethiopia
Showing images 0-0 of 0.
- A hospital-owned ambulance dropping off patients at St. Paul’s Specialized General Hospital in Addis Ababa.
- The main patient entrance to the hospital.
- I am working with Tolesa, the quality officer at St. Paul’s, on plans to streamline patient flow.
- Adding medical equipment that is part of the operating theater into the new inventory system was an important improvement.
- The serial number on this 20-year-old anesthesiology machine is hard to find.
- Central triage and medical records are housed together at the hospital.
- A sign directs patients where to go. Unfortunately, a lot of the room numbers are out of date.
- St. Paul's Hospital Emergency Department is considered to be the best in Ethiopia.
- With limited resources, staff members are forced to be creative. Here they have used a plastic bottle to make an aerochamber, a device that helps get the aerosol medication from the inhaler deeper into the lungs.
- Charts used by emergency room triage nurses.
- Women often find work by selling produce or grilling corn on the side of the road.
- A typical Ethiopian meal featuring injiera, a thin sour bread that some believe wards off cancer.
- The Piazza is one of the major shopping centers in Addis Ababa.
- A herd of donkeys on the capital’s streets carry grain to a nearby market.
- Walking across the street for lunch at a local restaurant.