Wrapping up a week in the Respiratory Department and Hue Conference

We ended our two-week stay in the respiratory department. This is significant because it is the last department that we were scheduled to stay in at NHP. The department was fast-paced, busy and easygoing. I loved watching staff provide service to their patients, such as a doctor making his or her patient laugh despite their worries about the child’s condition. I will always remember how one of the doctors calmed down a parent of a child who was in the hospital. She explained that she needed to let the doctors do their work and that they will do whatever they can to make sure that the child was safe.

One of the reasons I applied for the KCE Fellowship was to observe how healthcare systems and hospital cultures vary in different countries. While working and observing the doctors in NHP, I have noticed that the shape of patient care changes depending on the ward. The Emergency Department is fast-paced because patients have to be stabilized quickly and then transferred to a different ward. The ICU handles the most critical patients. “Intense” is an understatement for the condition and prognosis that many of their patients have. Many of the children pass away. In the event of a sudden passing, they have to navigate the murky and often painful waters of explaining the situation to caregivers and preparing for any potential legal issues. I think that this is one of the reasons why they value swift efficiency – there is too much to handle in such a small space so anything outside of what is necessary is pointless. The patients admitted to the Respiratory Department tend to stay longer. Many of the children have severe respiratory conditions. Deaths do occur but many are stabilized and transferred to hospitals closer to their homes. However, providers interact with the children more frequently and the parents seem like they understand more about what is going on with their child.

In the middle of the week, we went to the Vietnam Pediatric Association conference in Hue. The conference had renowned speakers from all over the world. Representatives from Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, MXP, and NSP also provided promotional gear at the event. Our responsibility as KCE ambassadors was to show PEMSoft and try to discover opportunities to expand our mission in Vietnam. I met many people and demonstrated the software whenever I could. A few people had heard about PEMsoft when I got to the conference. I talked to a presenter from Hue Medical University who thought that PEMsoft would be an incredible tool for Vietnamese medical students. I spoke to a Master’s degree student who had heard about PEMsoft from her colleague and wanted to know more information about getting it.

I loved how the much the conference was a representation about the joy and necessity of learning. In particular, I enjoyed the conference’s opening presentations and the concurrent presentations about robotic surgery. Presentations started at 8 a.m. and the premier lectures were about new innovations in the field and addressed methods for correcting current health issues in Vietnam. Dr. Hai, the director of NHP, opened the conference with information of the state of the Vietnamese medical system. The presentation discussed the high patient-to-doctor ratio, the types of conditions that patients present with, and the human resource crisis. According to Dr. Hai’s presentation, Vietnam could use more physicians and a better way of organizing the staff to achieve more effective and efficient care. For example, he suggested that there should be one physician supervising two nurses who provide care for a patient. Dr. Hai’s argument was that increasing resources is ineffective when you do not correctly use the resources that you already have. The second opening presentation was an update on the measles epidemic at the NHP. According to the presentation, the measles epidemic has stabilized. However, there were causalities and it highlights the necessity of promoting vaccination in Vietnam. Many of the affected children were from Hanoi and other northern provinces. I noticed that they never used the term “pandemic” during the presentation. I initially thought it was a pandemic because California and England were experiencing measles outbreaks at the same time. In summary, I had a great time because all of the presentations were great, the venue was beautiful, and we were rewarded with a spectacular dinner at the end.

A rThe conference was at the Green Hotel in Hue

A road in Hue

Throughout the conference, I considered how PEMsoft could potentially make an impact in the topic being discussed. The best fit seemed to be related to the Dr. Hai’s opening remarks. While PEMsoft would not be able to address the resource crisis directly, we can help doctors have access to information when they need it at critical times.

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