Today I got the chance to go to some of the surgical wards in the hospital. We saw some patients for chest physio and some for mobilisation and rehab. One gentleman we saw had rib fractures and a neck brace following a road traffic accident. Due to the rib fractures manual techniques are contraindicated so to encourage deep breathing the physio asked the patient to practise blowing up a balloon. This also kind of acted as incentive spirometer as the patient could see how much air was being filled inside the balloon.
Other patients on the ward did have incentive spirometers, and we also encouraged positioning of the patient to encourage deep breathing.
I did see some horrible pressure sores that had developed on one patient who has been bed bound for the last 3 months. The patient was curled into a flexed foetal position when we arrived and we proceeded to carry out passive movements and re-position the patient in the bed. Trying to prevent any contractures or changes in overall tone and muscle. I did also see some nurses re-dressing a patient’s wounds which were raw down to the bone. Many of these patients are affected by infection, both prior to admission and whilst in hospital.
We began rehab with another patient, though I realised how much easier it is at home with electronic beds that will go up and down and the other equipment we have available.
This afternoon in the break I was invited to the staffroom to try a traditional Sri Lankan snack called ‘KuKiss’. It was half way between a crisp and a cracker. Then one of the physio’s mum brought us in some ice cream. We chatted about different treatment techniques and then they were asking my opinion on a patient that had been referred and what my plan/s would be. It is really nice that they value my opinion and want to know how I would assess and treat different patients.
Everyone in the department is very friendly and it is lovely that they are allowing me into their work environment and teaching me about their culture, traditions and clinical practise.