Fieldset
Calm before the storm

Today is the day before what we call day -7, which itself signifies the beginning of the moving process. The hospital remains calm. I don't actually think there will be a storm; it's just that there will be a flurry of activity.

Today is the day before what we call day -7, which itself signifies the beginning of the moving process. The hospital remains calm. I don't actually think there will be a storm; it's just that there will be a flurry of activity. We're trying to plan ahead so as to minimize confusion, but of course there will be some unforeseen chaos.

The hospital staff are relatively un-busy. Logistics, on the other hand, are running around madly. I am, too. Today was a day of meetings, running to meetings, or running around between meetings.

We started with a meeting in the car at 0645h, as a now-daily check-in between logistics (technical log and supply/admin log), medical team leader (that's me), and project coordinator. The car was actually quite productive, although we continued about another 15 min after arriving at the hospital. I missed ward rounds, though; not serious, since we had only a handful of antenatal patients, and the chief of gynecology rounded with the team.

Then I met with the chief of gynecology, to discuss the last details of our restricted admission criteria during the move, and to discuss more details on how and what we will consider donating to other hospitals, as support while we are closed.

I had to see also one of the guards that we will train to help with coordinating transfers. He's been on vacation for the last month, so hasn't heard much about the plans. Thankfully, he's willing to help in whatever way asked of him, and he learns fast. I explained the overall plan, and what was his role in it.

Then, with the chief of anaesthesia, about what had been decided about how to arrange the furniture in the operating block, and also about (again) the anaesthetic medications to be donated to other hospitals.

After that, I caught a car to the new hospital. Logistics wanted me to verify the order I put in last week for surgical instruments. We're making extra sets for Caesareans. I looked at the backup light for the operating rooms, since we can't get real operating lamps in time. (The backup light is a construction lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb in it.)

Then, back to Jude Anne. I had to find my lunch, and while waiting, listened to an entrepreneur from the new neighbourhood make a sales pitch to the staff in the lunch room. He wants to take orders for their lunch when we move. He'll deliver. Most remarkably, I understood almost all of what he said in Creole.

Next meeting: with logistics and the OR nurse about the last items needed for the OR to move. We didn't want to duplicate any previous orders that went in, but of course we don't want to forget anything either.

Mid-afternoon, the big move meeting, which included most of coordination, all of the logstical expats, and me. Where we're at, what needs doing, and, most importantly, what are the Plan B's for major problems like the hospital being full when we try to move it, or the other hospitals going on strike, or the new Maternite Solidarite not being ready.

That meeting, then, melded into a meeting about my job and my successor.

I went on from that to making photocopies, and then, my last jaunt around the hospital before hopping in a car to get back to the house for the expat team meeting.