|The autoclave in the|
Granada hospital. Note
the two pieces of wood
holding up the autoclave door!
But I digress. By far the most fun we had was hospital visits on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, we took half the class to the local Granada public hospital, which is the same hospital he worked at last year. The technicians and engineers were super excited to see me again, and it was a happy reunion. They gave us a tour of the hospital, and also gave us some equipment to take apart, clean, and in some cases repair. We took apart and repaired a handful of nebulizers that weren't working for a variety of reasons.
|A nebulizer under repair. The |
two-sided pressure chamber is
opened up (bottom right).
|A team effort!|
Yesterday, Friday, we took the other half of the class to a hospital in Nandaime which is a village about 35 minutes outside of Granada. The hospital was very small, and although the staff seemed fairly knowledgeable, they were certainly resource deficient.
They had no engineering staff of their own, which meant there was a lot of equipment sitting around that needed repairing. They happily handed us a couple of autoclaves, an ECG machine, an infant incubator, and some common scales. We did the best we could and had a good deal of fun in the process. The infant incubator was fairly easy to repair. In fact I'm not even really sure what we did to fix it! We took it apart, cleaned a few ports, put it back together, and the alarm that had been going off magically stopped! The students cleaned and polished it until it looks like new, and we gave it back to the doctor, who was extremely happy. Apparently it was their only one in the hospital, and they hadn't been able to use it for a couple of years.
|Sizing up the incubator.|
|Calibrating the scales was a real challenge!|
|The insides of an autoclave. The water tank (grey, left) pipes water into the tank (silver, right). The tubing is all high pressure, meaning we'd better put it back together properly, or else!|
|A well-earned lunch!|
Well it's the weekend now, which means exploring around Granada, and maybe going zip lining tomorrow. Tomorrow is also a very big religious holiday here, the feast day of Mary Help of Christians. There have been a lot of parades and loud music, and fireworks that don't make any light but make these very loud explosion popping sounds. It's kind of nice, except that the firework explosions go on literally through the night.
I'm looking forward to next week's work schedule. We start talking more about specific pieces of hospital equipment, and the labs get more interesting too. I think considering the success we had in the hospital this week, students will be pretty engaged with the lectures as they start to see the physical principles underlying the various pieces of equipment that they saw at the hospitals.