First, the model of care is that expatriate staff work one-to-one with a Lao staff member in all aspects of patient care. This means that the emphasis is placed on mutual learning and capacity building. The second factor is the hospital’s commitment to ongoing education. One hour per morning is dedicated to case presentations, audits and grand rounds. I believe these choices will provide the best opportunity for growth for all the staff and volunteers at the hospital.
After volunteering at LFHC for almost two months, I continue to be impressed with the staff and the amount of compassion they have for helping others. Everyone at LFHC takes pride in the work they do and are very eager to learn new practices and techniques. I am very grateful to be a part of this team at such an early stage, and I can not wait to see how much they will continue to grow!
We saw many children touched by challenges with developmental delay, epilepsy, migraines, neuromuscular weakness, genetic/metabolic syndromes, cerebral palsy, etc. Although the level of care is different in Lao compared to USA....the compassion is probably higher at LFHC in Lao! The parents asked the same types of questions that parents in USA ask and the concerns based on love are no different. Absolutely not one iota different – that was somehow surprising to me but perhaps I should not have been surprised at all.
These times are overshadowed by the eagerness of the Lao staff to learn, the way they embrace the model of compassionate care, and all of the random moments at the end of the day when they taught me Lao dancing, about Lao food, and Lao culture. LFHC has grown so much during my time here; I can’t wait to come back and see how it continues to grow. You too should think of coming!
For me the most satisfying aspect of my experience was the feeling that I was part of a new health care model for Laos. Care regardless of ability to pay, compassion, health education, in a setting of an enthusiastic patient care team. I can’t wait to come back in August and be part of this again!