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My name is Mercy Gandu a Nurse/Midwife working with the obstetric and gynaecology department of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital Kaduna State, Nigeria. I was more than excited when I got another opportunity to attend this secondment.
I was hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust from the 19th of January to the 27th of June 2024. I worked under work package 4 and had lots of beautiful learning opportunities visiting different institutions, which boosted my knowledge and care of patient with sickle cell disease.
As a midwife my objectives were to learn clinical management of SCD in women during pregnancy, management of SCD during and after delivery, Genetic counselling, to learn how blood spots are collected, packed, stored and transported to the laboratory, breaking of bad news through face to face contact.
The period of my seconded offered me the privilege to interact with experts like Prof. Eugene Uteng who is a renowned obstetrician with expertise in the management of pregnant patient with SCD and his team of expert. Dr Samah Babiker a consultant haematologist and her loving team of expert in the care of paediatric SCD patient. I have worked with Nkechi Anyanwu, a specialist Nurse heading the community hospital at Wooden spoon with her wonderful team. All of them were keen and interested to guide me with relevant information and materials to boost my learning.
I have visited a number of institutions such as Lewisham University hospital where I attended the day care center for the care of patient with SCD. I also visited Royal London Hospital where I shadowed Caroline and her team at the day care Center for exchange blood transfusion, Iron chelation, thalassaemia and a patient with haemochromatosis. At the Evelina children’s hospital, I shadowed Iwona for exchange blood transfusion. For the community hospital I visited the Waldron health center and wooden spoon severally where I contributed in the genetic counselling activities. All the staff I met were keen to share their knowledge and skills which helped me a lot to achieve my objectives.
I did a lot of E-Learning which helped to boost my knowledge and skills in the care of patient in the clinic. I also attended Various multidisciplinary (MDT) meetings such as the National hemoglobinopathy panel MDTs, obstetrics and gynaecology MDTs, haematology clinic, CAMHs MDT. At the MDTs different professionals meet to discuss about key patient management in other to make critical decisions. This enhanced my knowledge on the needs of sharing knowledge with colleagues to improve our decision-making process.
I have attended various teaching sessions, webinars, seminars, conferences and workshops. I must say that the experience is one that went beyond my expectations. While working with the obstetrics and gynaecology clinic, I developed a paper on the management of patient with sickle cell disease which is still awaiting approval.
My appreciation goes to God Almighty for the opportunity to attend this secondment and protecting throughout. I also appreciate the entire ARISE team, its management did well in making my secondment a great success. I also thank my hosting institution Guy’s and St Thomas NHS for having me and taking the responsibility to teach me lovingly. A big thank you to my sending institution Barau Dikko teaching Hospital Kaduna state Nigeria for finding me worthy of this task. I appreciate the entire staff of Labour ward of BDTH Kaduna for standing for me in my absence.
My burning desire is to share my Knowledge and skills with colleagues and use my knowledge to improve my care and service delivery to my patient.