The Amazing Africa, Part One

May 23, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

A Student Spotlight about Hospital Shadowing Experience in Iringa, Tanzania

Jamieson with local children from Iringa. Well, what more can I say than I am literally having the time of my life. Seeing new people, new places, and creating new experiences each day is exactly what I came here to do. The long, 25-hour journey was totally worth it. 

Every day at the hospital is something new. The pediatric ward, where I am shadowing this week, is mostly filled with children from the ages of three weeks to seven years old. The cases generally consist of malaria, pneumonia, anemia, malnutrition, and excessive vomiting and diarrhea. So far, we’ve already seen three deaths in the ward and it’s only been three days—all of these cases were severe pneumonia that led to anemia.

Being in the pediatrics ward, it can get very dismal at times. You often question: “Why did they have to go? It wasn’t their time.” You also have to keep in mind that, when you’re in a third world country, things like this are very normal. The doctors and nurses here are amazing, and they perform miracles for these children every day. The amount of effort—and love—the staff put into their jobs is inspiring. They treat every child as if he or she were their own.

It’s only my third day in the hospital and I’ve already learned so much. It’s the little things that really help me get closer to my goal as a pediatric nurse—looking into the dark brown eyes of the sick, innocent babies makes me want to give everything I have in me to make them healthy again.

Nursing is my calling.