Volunteer

Dr. Naomi Garland, USA

Dr. Naomi Garland, United States

“I came to WMEH as a surgical resident, slated to do two years of research with Stanford University focused on quality in international surgery. Over this time WMEH became more than just a place to work- WMEH was a home base where I always felt comfortable and welcomed, and provided great insight into the current state of health care in Cambodia.

Dr. Naomi Garland, United States I came to WMEH as a surgical resident, slated to do two years of research with Stanford University focused on quality in international surgery. Over this time WMEH became more than just a place to work- WMEH was a home base where I always felt comfortable and welcomed, and provided great insight into the current state of health care in Cambodia. During my first year, we took a detailed look at their use of the WHO surgical safety checklist to see how well they complied with international standards of surgical safety. We spent a lot of time examining perioperative processes- some of which were working well, like availability of sterile gloves, reliable anesthesia equipment, and team communication, and others which required work, like nuances of how to give antibiotics before surgery.

This work morphed into the development of a surgical infection surveillance system which is still in place today. The success of this program came from the commitment of all the staff, from the chief of surgery to the ward nurses, hospital director, and junior surgeons, all of whom showed strong interest in ongoing education about surgical infections. They now closely monitor, document and report all surgically related infections, making WMEH one of the first hospitals in the region to accurately understand their infection rate.

What stood out to me was their willingness to talk openly about their challenges, and their dedication and creativity around improving patient care. In these respects, I think they may outdo many of their Western counterparts. Getting to be a part of the work at WMEH was inspiring, eye opening and truly a privilege. Their warmth and hard work certainly shaped my view of Cambodia as a dynamic environment full of smart, young professionals dedicated to improving surgical care.”

Dr. Naomi Garland, Surgical Resident, Stanford University

 

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