…and I said “of course.” Which is true.
They also asked where I would go after working in both sites. The question was easy to answer but hard to explain: Nasiriyah?
This sort of threw everyone at the table during the discussion because I have spent most of the current trip relating horror stories accrued during my first two weeks in Iraq. And really, nothing so far has been as bad here. Even when we lost that kid the other night believe it or not.
At first I couldn’t explain my rationale. Why do I want to go back to ICU Hell? Am I crazy?
Well, yes, we all know that by now.
I loved the people; “generosity without borders” as Pavel said. The culture was so alien…and interesting. The bizarre juxtaposition of men in traditional Arab dress walking down the same street as men in fancy three piece suits for example. The funky, striped purple couch in our guest house; watching the news with our security detail…the security guys at the hospital packing their pajamas and sleeping in shifts in the conference room (seriously, they packed their jamies!). The absurdity of it all…
And clinically…I feel like more of the nurses wanted to learn. Which is not to say anything negative about the nurses here in Sulay…they really are not that bad…yes, it is hard to get some of them to chart and you have to remind them to give meds, but they know how to do most of the stuff, they just need some help with things like calculating pediatric doses and NOT giving meds through lines that are running pressors (I will say though, that there is one little guy who is awesome and has learned SO much, and there is also one woman who just plain rocks…and she did before we even got there). But I feel like the handful of nurses in Nasiriyah who wanted to learn, actually really, really cared. Aside from the aforementioned two exceptional nurses we had here, I don’t think I can say this about the Sulay nurses.
And then there is me.
I learned so much in Nasiriyah. Volumes. I have never had any clinical experience or responsibility like I had there. I felt like I played such an important role as a member of that team…which is true here as well, but somehow just feels different.
And as far as explanation, I think that is about as good as I can do for now. And I know it doesn’t really articulate my sentiments very well. Maybe I will understand it better myself someday.
But maybe not.