Volunteer Experience at Angkor Hospital for Children
This summer I was privileged to have the opportunity to work at Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) as a non-medical volunteer. I had a wonderful experience volunteering at this incredible facility and had the pleasure of getting to know the kind and dedicated hospital staff. I am currently studying Physiology at McGill University and am very passionate about pursuing a career in medicine. It was very inspiring to see how well the staff at AHC work together and the amount of effort that goes into giving the children the best care possible.
My role at AHC was to help with patient data entry in the hospital’s eye clinic. The eye clinic is ran by a specialized group of nurses and doctors who immediately welcomed me into the group. In order to ensure the clinic staff could treat as many patients as possible, I assisted in making sure the patient databases were up to date. I transferred patient chart information into two different computer databases, to ensure all patient history is kept and recorded. The staff taught me about the different eye pathologies and how to categorize them in the hospital wide data base system. In addition, as part of the eye clinic team I was allowed to sit in on weekly presentations given by different team members on eye care hospital procedures which was an amazing learning experience.
In addition to helping in the eye clinic, I also assisted the research and education director on collecting cancer patient data. AHC has recently started treating cancer patients who have retinoblastoma, cancer of the eye, with chemotherapy. The goal in the future is to improve cancer patient outcomes and treat several other common childhood cancers in order to help as many patients as possible. I created a statistic spreadsheet with information from cancer patients who have been admitted to the hospital over the past several years. The goal of this data collection was to get an idea of the number of cancer patients diagnosed at the hospital and to gather the details regarding their chart history. I hope that creating this overview will help the team develop a plan for future progress regarding cancer treatment. Overall, I had an extremely memorable experience at the hospital. Over the two weeks I was in Siem Reap, I truly began to feel like part of the AHC family. I hope to return one day as a medical volunteer and will continue to support AHC from Canada through fundraising efforts and spreading awareness in my community.
Nirit Rozenberg, Canada
How I got involved with the Angkor Hospital for Children
……I helped out with a fundraiser for the Angkor Hospital for Children in January – “Taste The World” in Vancouver which is held every year at the Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom to raise money for the Angkor Hospital for Children and Medical Action Myanmar. My sister Lindsay Peretz volunteered at the hospital last summer.
At Taste the World evening, during my volunteering, I had had the opportunity to meet Helen Catton, Director of Angkor Satellite Clinic. We chatted a bit about what I was doing and the healthcare situation in Cambodia if I were to come. My goal was to expand my volunteering from a local level to an international setting. We discussed possibilities of what I may be able to do out there. (and on another evening, while Helen was still here, we had a brainstorming session with some other Vancouver kids as to how to raise money for the Angkor Hospital for Children) After discussing what specific skills I might be able to bring to the hospital, it was decided to expand on my work experience from the summer before.
Last summer I worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Alberta conducting a Hand Hygiene Audit over three months. I learned hand hygiene policy and protocol, how to conduct the audit, and then finally compiled the data and a final report. Helen stressed the need for help in this area at the Angkor Hospital for Children! After going back and forth we finalized the date, made preparations to implement my experience and was on my way to Siem Reap!
I decided quite last minute to have a quick fundraiser before I left – and I was able to raise $1750 US
Once at Angkor Hospital for Children I worked closely with the Khmer staff, specifically the Infection Control nurses at both the AHC and Satellite Clinic. We discussed our different ways of conducting the audits, and how improvements could be made to the system. We then observed staff together for 2 weeks and conducted an audit, and observed for issues and recommendations we had.
Finally, we put together a powerpoint and gave lunch talks at both the Angkor Hospital for Children and the Angkor Satellite Clinic. It was so rewarding for me to know that I had actually been able to contribute some of my knowledge to the AHC and was really able to teach them something. I hope to be back soon!
Volunteer Tara Peretz, Summer 2014