It is so easy to come to a different country and be critical of the way they do things compared to home but embracing what you can and sharing knowledge can make it so much more fun.
My second week has begun in Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka, I have experienced more patients with a focus on looking at neurological conditions. I have assessed and treated stroke patients, looking at gait, balance, tremors and extensor patterns. Thinking about ways to communicate for assessments and treatments has been fun! Demonstrating activities for patients and using the resources I have available. Thinking about patients’ balance, BOS, co-ordination, increasing patient confidence and improving functional tasks/ movements. I have seen patients with wrist drops from nerve damage and worked to strengthen and get the patient to start initiating movements, using electrotherapy to increase stimulation.
I also got the opportunity to go onto the neurology and neurosurgical wards and assessed an acute stroke patient and observed chest physiotherapy on neurosurgical HDU. I have carried on seeing MSK patients and coming up with new strengthening exercises, and re-educating patients’ movement patterns to improve mobility and function. I did have fun trying to teach some of the older generation patients’ how to do a squat with the correct technique.
Although days on placement can be mentally and physically draining, when patients are so grateful for the work you do it makes it all seem worth it. Being able to say a few basic words, communicate and have some banter with patients makes the placement a really enjoyable experience. One of my patients yesterday gave me some coconut fudge sweets as a thank you!
I think I can take away a lot from this nation, the Buddhist culture and the way they do things using any resources they have available and never complaining. The Buddhist nature means everyone is so self-less and relaxed in their manner, people don’t stress about time or belongings. They want to do good things in their lives so that they can be re-born and continue to live a happy life free from suffering.