Nepal conditions

Staff development nurse Margaretha Offringa has just returned from training in Kathmandu.
Staff development nurse Margaretha Offringa has just returned from training in Kathmandu.

The staff development nurse said she observed nurses in the hospital and presented lectures during lunch breaks.

‘They are missing basic nursing care,’ Ms Offringa said.

‘I explained basic observation so they could see if a patient was deteriorating. They really appreciated it… I felt useful.’

Despite the rewards, Ms Offringa said she was not prepared for the poor conditions.

‘I read all the reports but nothing can prepare you for it because it’s so different,’ she said.

‘There can be three people in one bed.’

The Fremantle resident said it was difficult watching people die from ailments that could be treated in Australia. Road accidents, children falling from buildings, infectious diseases, strokes and alcohol withdrawal were common presentations to the hospital’s emergency department.

Ms Offringa said two more Fremantle Hospital nurses would visit Kathmandu in January and she hoped to return too.

ISTIH sponsor western nurses and doctors to provide training for third-world medical practitioners.

For more information, visit www.istih.org.