This week I got to interview the lab team. First, I asked Comfort, a lab technician, some questions on her experiences. Comfort just finished two years of schooling in order to learn more about being in the lab. There she learned about advanced lab equipment and how to use it. She hopes that this equipment will one day be in every health facility in Liberia. Comfort also learned things about blood chemistry, how to count a person’s electrolytes, and how to care for a patient. The reason she wanted to become a lab technician is because she wanted to make sure a patient is getting the right care. Without a lab, a clinician can’t always diagnose someone correctly. Most of the time they need to do blood work or other lab test in order to figure out what is wrong. It is really important that they get it right, especially here in Liberia where people are more susceptible to illness. With the help of the lab tests, the lab tech and the clinician can work together to figure out what is the best option for the patient. One of my favorite things she said was that if people from other countries can come and help her own country, then she can most definitely do it too. She really loves what she does, and she has a great mindset. Her attitude, and personality are great contributions to the clinic.
Before she left for school, she also trained two of our other lab techs, Sam and Jacob. They loved that Comfort taught them everything she knows. Not only did they learn how to be a lab aide, they learned how Comfort treats her patients. They learned that being nice to a patient is expected, and how important it is to make sure a patient knows the extent of their condition. They said that they are so grateful Liberia has a person like Comfort. I also asked them their thoughts about the new extension to the lab space. Before it was just a small room no bigger than broom closet. The window was placed facing the ocean, with the lab equipment right under it. The salty air would rust and damage the equipment, so much that they would often need replacing. Now the new lab space is bigger, and the window is away from the lab equipment. Also, now the room is more private and comfortable. Everyone agrees that this is a much better space than before.
In interviewing this team, I learned so much. They are all so good at what they do. It takes a lot to care for a patient in the ways that they do. Always having a positive attitude in this line of work, and to have it in a developing country, is very difficult. To have people this devoted to their jobs is really amazing. I give them all of the respect in the world. I had a great time hanging out with them and asking them so many questions. I can’t wait to learn more from them in the future.
Kasey (the intern)