Cardiology Team Wraps Up Its Life-Changing Work in Ethiopia

Today we finished procedures and spent the balance of the day investing in teaching and knowledge transfer at the nursing, medical student, resident and fellow level.

We started our day at 8 a.m. with a lecture on ASCVD prevention and transitioned to rounding that went into the early afternoon. We had the pleasure of rounding with very energetic and bright medical students and residents as they were going on bedside rounds with the cardiology fellows.

The center caters to the underserved, and there are 14 beds in each room. The excess we take for granted in the United States is stripped down to the basics, where even the curtain and some extent of privacy between neighboring patients is now down to a few feet between beds in a large open space. Yet with no TV, no patients talking on the phone and no monitors beeping, these large rooms with their 14 patients were quieter than most single rooms I round in while in the U.S. Most of what could be heard was our large team of providers moving from bed to bed and room to room discussing each case in detail and teaching residents.

While the MDs were enjoying these bedside rounds, our multitalented nurse Colleen gathered up the nursing staff and took them through a series of lectures pertinent to cardiac care. The staff created a makeshift lecture hall for her in the middle of the ICU by moving a couple of the beds out of the way so the wall became the screen. (See photo below.) The ICU nurses did not want to miss out on the lectures, so nurses from other areas came over to the ICU and the class was good to go. Improvisation at all levels is the way of life for folks here and a remarkable gift.

Dr. Ben Johnson will do the last in our series of lectures. He will talk about atrial fibrillation, which is a condition common in our patients with valve disease.

I plan on having a series of meetings tomorrow that will hopefully facilitate the smooth entry of our items into Addis/Bahir Dar on subsequent trips.

~Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew, cardiologist at Hennepin County Medical Center and CSI volunteer