Honors senior Samantha Steyl, chemistry major and Pre-Med, spent a month this past summer working in a government run hospital in Cambodia. Sam shadowed doctors and nurses on the "plastics" wing. In that experience, she observed doctors giving patients their daily shots and medications, as well as in their daily rounds, turnover meetings, and small surgeries. She learned how medical care in Cambodia differs from that of the United States, and about how the hospital is run.
In describing this experience, Sam shared, "The hospital wing itself was an open-air hallway with rooms on one side of the hall and a railing on the other side. In the rooms there were five beds each, as well as beds and cots lining the outside of the rooms. Every bed was full, and all family members were in the rooms helping with daily needs like bathing and using the restroom. The doctors would go in the rooms, administer the medications, and move on to the next patient. Patients and their families were extremely grateful for the doctors and nurses. It was sad because many of those people were sick from things that are easily preventable. Some of them will be in the hospital for a very long time even though their sickness could be cured with access to resources."
Sam emerged from her month in Cambodia extremely grateful. From this shadowing experience, she gained respect for the healthcare field and especially what doctors and nurses do every day. An international healthcare shadowing experience is invaluable to Honors Pre-Health students like Sam, which will serve her well as she launches her career.
Top photo contributed by Sam Steyl. Sam is pictured shadowing on the plastic floor in the public hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Story by Garrett Alexandrea McDowell, Ph.D.