Trauma and Critical Care Training: What Was I Thinking?

Have you ever seen a need, tried to meet that need, and then found that it is way more tiring to fulfill than you had originally thought it would be? Heath and Angela Many are missionaries serving in medical ministries in Kenya. Heath recently wrote a blog post about the need for more specialized training for the residents in the medical education program at Tenwek. The challenging aspect about this need was the long, exhausting hours he had to put in to figure out how best to teach them.

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Photo credit: Heath and Angela Many

“At some point in 2004, I walked out of the University of New Mexico Hospital with a smile on my face.  I had just completed my last day on the trauma service.  No longer would I be up in the middle of the night taking care of labor-intensive injured patients.  No longer would I sit for hours in the ICU taking care of the sickest of sick patients while others operated on the “interesting cases.” My career path was taking me towards the aspect of surgery that I loved the most—operating, operating, operating. I was happy to be in the OR all day while critical care specialists helped take care of the sicker patients whose care I was involved in.”

I spent the first decade of my career as a busy, private practice surgeon, which meant I spent a lot of time in the operating room.  I loved it.  But as our family transitioned to Kenya it became very apparent that good outcomes in complex surgical patients at Tenwek were hard earned.  Yes, a technically perfect operation is imperative; however, a good outcome depends on much more than just a good operation.  Technically difficult operations could be completed; however, patients who became sick after these procedures or who were admitted to the ICU after life-threatening trauma often times died when they shouldn’t have.

To read the rest of the blog post, visit the Many ministry blog.

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