Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rounding on Surgery

People come and go from Kudjip all the time.  Many come for a month or two, some for a year or two, a few stay beyond 10 years, but very few make it past 25 years.  The Radcliffes are part of that very few.  For the past 27+ years Jim and Kathy Radcliffe and their family have been the constant at Kudjip.  When all else has changed, while others have come and gone, they have remained.

In the hospital, there are four wards: medicine, pediatrics, surgery and OB.  Every few months a new assignment is given to the doctors as to what ward they are going to be taking care of.  For most of us our assignment changes through the year, but not for Jim.  For the past 27+ years, Dr. Jim has been the constant on surgery ward, rounding, almost every morning, on the surgical patients.  He often is doing this alone, as the volunteer surgeons who come don't usually overlap with him, instead they come to try and fill his shoes when he is on vacation or on Home Assignment.

These past few weeks, I have had the privilege of rounding with Jim or the surgical ward, while we have had some extra help.  It has been fun to work with Jim, to learn more about pre and post surgical care, and to help him with rounds.  He is a great surgeon, teacher and has a great relationship with the patients.  His concern for the patients extends beyond the physical to their spiritual needs.  Prayer is a routine part of rounds, as is making sure the chaplains have talked to the patients.  Laughter is also a commonly used modality, as each morning for one reason or another, he would have the whole ward laughing.  

It seems like my time on the surgical ward has flown by and I would be happy to stay longer, but a new doctor has arrived.  Dr. Ben Radcliffe, Jim's oldest son, and a 4th year surgical resident, is here to work  and learn from his dad for the month.  Pray that Ben, Katherine (FP doc) and Simeon's time here at Kudjip would be a blessing for all and that God would continue to direct their paths as they are praying about missions.