My observership took place from March 3, 2019 to April 3, 2019 at the Department of Clinical Neonatology at the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland.
First, I would like to thank the Children’s Medical Care Foundation for giving me this opportunity to receive a monthlong training internship at one of its European partner clinics, the University Clinic in Krakow, Poland. Thanks to this fellowship opportunity, my dream of comparing my work with that of my colleagues in Europe came true; to see the differences and similarities in helping newborns and the ability to apply gained skills and knowledge in my practice.
This month of training was extremely useful-both for my professional growth and as an incentive keep on developing. Also, one of the positive moments in the internship was that the training was holding with the head of the department the nurse of our department; that’s why all positive practical knowledge are easier to implement while several people from the staff implementing them. Immediately upon returning home, a meeting of all our hospital staff was held and many of the innovations I had observed were integrated into our practice at the hospital.
A speech by the head of our department is planned for the regional neonatology conference so that more of our colleagues will be able to take advantage of the knowledge gained at this training in helping newborns in their hospitals. I also want to acknowledge the willingness of all hospital staff-beyond just the physicians-to share their skills and knowledge. What I saw with my own eyes that was very valuable is that despite the considerable physical, technical and financial ways in which our two hospitals differ, conscientious and well-organized work results in high quality care, and much from what was observed and learned during the internship can be used in our work. In the brief period since returning to work in my medical department, we have already changed our approach to the prevention of nosocomial infections, anti-epidemic measures and neonatal examination on fetal infections. Tactics and duration of antibiotic therapy has also been changed.
The evaluation of pain of newborns on the N-PASS scale in the department with adequate anesthesia was introduced. Now each newborn is examined together with the head of the department present with the subsequent administration of treatment and examination. The understanding of the diagnosis and prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis has improved considerably as well.
Methods of administering enteral and parenteral nutrition at our hospital, and the treatment of anemia have also improved. Sadly, there were also numerous life-saving innovations and methodologies that I was exposed to and learned about during the observership that we are likely to have to wait a while to implement in our medical department. These include the treatment of pulmonary hypertension with nitric oxide, ultrasound examination of the lungs, setting of a temporary Rikam pump with increasing hydrocephalus, invasive measurement of blood pressure, the use of high-frequency mechanical ventilation and electronic management of all medical reports.
Written by Dr. Mykola Shevchuk. Dr. Shevchuk is a neonatologist at Vinnytsia Regional Clinical Hospital named after M.I. Pirogov RPC DICN.