Trauma

Tracy's Thailand Trip 2018

Our Nurse Tracy Travels to Thailand

 

In January, my husband and I traveled to Thailand as a part of the Trauma and Emergency Management Program. This program provides training, support and essential medical supplies to mobile, community-based “backpack” medics. The “backpack” medics hike through difficult terrain to deliver lifesaving emergency care to people in remote, landmine-contaminated areas of eastern Myanmar (Burma).

On the plane from San Francisco, California to Bejing, China.

On the plane from San Francisco, California to Bejing, China.

 

Our Journey began on January 24th, 2018. We flew from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Francisco, California then to Beijing, China. After a 24-hour layover in China, we finally flew to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) to begin training. The initial trauma training was supposed to take place in Burma, however due to political instability in the region, the training was moved to Mae Sot, Thailand. Since my husband and I were already in Burma, we decided to stay and explore the city.

The training took place in Western Thailand, in a district called Mae Sot (see border of Thailand and Myanmar).

The training took place in Western Thailand, in a district called Mae Sot (see border of Thailand and Myanmar).

 

While in Burma, we stayed at the Hotel Kan Yeik Thar, located in Inya Lake. Hotel Kan Yeik is approximately 15 minutes from the Yangon International Airport. From there, we toured the city on foot and via Uber/taxi. We visited the Yangon Zoo, Inya Lake, and the Shwedagon Pagoda.

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This beautiful landmark (shown below) is a stupa or dome shaped structure. The stupa houses Buddhist relics and gives the people of Myanmar a place to worship. We toured the pagoda with an English-speaking tour guide, took photos and loved learning about its history.

 

We left Yangon on Sunday, January 28th. We flew to Mae Sot, Thailand to meet the rest of the TEMP team. There were 7 team members which included 4 trauma/ER doctors, and an RN. The training began on Monday, January 29th. While in Mae Sot we stayed at the J2 hotel. The J2 was our home for 7 days while we attended the training.

 

The length of the training was 6 days. It took place in a classroom located next to a now abandoned hospital. The “compound”, as they called it, was now used to house the students while they attended training. Each member of our team was assigned specific subjects that were used to teach the medics. Some of the subjects included: Anatomy & Physiology, Limb Injury/Amputation, starting IV’s and pregnancy and childbirth. Bryan and I were given fracture/dislocation, splinting and bleeding management. We also assisted with a “jungle operating room” which included the pig lab. On this day we studied and taught anatomy using pigs from a local farmer.

We started each day with an activity or “ice breaker”. Since the students did not speak English, it was a good way for all of us to get to know each other without having to use the translators. One morning Bryan and I decided to teach them the Macarena!

 

Some of our responsibilities during training included making and building models for the medics to use in class. We used sugar cane and paper towels for the fasciotomies and nebulizer tubing, as well as gloves for tracheotomies. For the abscess lab, we used sponges and strawberry yogurt.

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Although the training took up a lot of our time, we spent most of our evenings trying out the local cuisine with the rest of the team. Family style is how they do things in Thailand, and boy, did we eat!

 

We met so many wonderful people and learned so much while on our trip. But after almost 2 weeks we were ready to go home and share our experiences with friends and family.

 

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We hope to someday return to Thailand!

Thailand Trip 2018- Trauma and Emergency Management Program

Virginia goes to AAHKS

Virginia Goes to AAHKS

The first week of November, I had the opportunity to journey to Dallas, Texas and attend the 2017 AAHKS (American Association for Hip and Knee Surgeons) annual meeting. I spent 2 solid days listening to papers and symposiums, selected from over 1400 submitted, to be reviewed at the annual AAHKS meeting. Topics covered ranged from antibiotic coverage, to surgical technique, how to increase patient outcomes and avoid patient complications. In addition to the talks presented, there was a large exhibit hall with vendors demonstrating everything from surgical implants to positioning devices and products to aid in patient care. I was also able to visit with and discuss processes with other orthopedic providers. It was a great learning experience and I look forward to bringing back to our practice the new evidence based recommendations and assisting to implement them at Tadje Orthopaedics.  

Virginia's Story

Why do you work with Dr. Tadje?

Although there are many reasons I work with Dr. Tadje, one of the main factors in my decision to work at his practice is his dedication to his patients. When I was getting my master’s degree, I was working at St. Alphonsus as a charge nurse in the Operating Room. Any time there was a level-1 trauma case admitted, they were sent directly to the emergency room. One night, a patient with a level-1 trauma injury to his foot was admitted, and I was paged down to the ER. The patient was in his early 20’s, and his foot had been run over by a commercial lawnmower. This was a very significant injury, and his foot was in really bad condition. On top of that, I found out from some of the other nurses that the patient was going to be getting married within the next couple of days. The orthopedic surgeon who was working in the ER looked at the patient’s x-rays, and determined that the foot wasn’t salvageable, so it, as well as part of his leg, would need to be amputated. When they informed me of this decision, I was so upset because this poor young man was going to lose his foot the day before his wedding. We all felt badly for him, but there didn’t seem to be anything we could do.

Within 15-20 minutes of hearing that he would be losing his leg, I got a call from Dr. Tadje telling us that he was going to come to the ER to try to save the patient’s foot. It turns out that the patient’s family were close friends of Dr. Tadje's, so they had called and asked if there was anything he could do. Dr. Tadje and his family were on their way out of town for a vacation when he received the call. They were on the highway heading out of town, but Dr. Tadje decided to postpone the vacation and head to the ER to help his friend. He showed up at the ER and promptly took the patient to the operating room for surgery. Although it was difficult, he ended up saving the patient’s foot. It’s not a pretty foot, but at least he didn’t have to undergo an amputation. To this day, he is still walking around with a fully functional foot. I felt inspired that Dr. Tadje would put his vacation on hold to help a friend and patient. Seeing his dedication showed that he truly cares about his patients and his practice. I knew I wanted to work with someone who is so committed to putting patients first, which is something I value as well.

~Virginia Jeppesen NP-C