A Memorable Visit to the Hospital: My Reflections

Hospital visits play a crucial role in shaping medical students' understanding and knowledge of the healthcare system, making "a visit to the hospital essay" a crucial assignment for them. Medical students have traditionally been taught in hospital settings. This prepares students to adapt to the hospitals' environment and to get oriented to different hospital settings. Hospital visits help students in understanding the different levels of care. It ensures that students are well prepared to be part of these hospitals in the future. Students need to be aware of the different departments and services hospitals provide. These visits give medical students an insight into the interactions between health professionals implanting in the students the characteristics of good healthcare professionals.

At the beginning of the visit, we were invited to sit in a hall for the introductory lecture to begin. Three doctors were there to give the lecture. They were friendly and passionate about delivering the right information to the student and answer all their questions and concerns. They explained the plan of the visit and later divided us into two groups. Each group followed a doctor to be introduced to the different departments of Al Jalila Hospital.

Al Jalila Hospital is the first hospital in UAE dedicated only to children. It embraces a child-friendly environment to ensure that the children will live a happy childhood regardless of their condition. It provides a huge variety of department that meets all the children needs.

The hospital represents tertiary healthcare with its specialized pediatrics dedicated to curing children only. It usually hosts inpatient children for advanced medical investigations and treatments. Children with special healthcare needs rely on tertiary care-based services to provide them with comprehensive diagnostic services in sub-specialty areas of pediatrics. Al Jalila Hospital associates different pediatric departments that meet all patients' needs including cardiology, dermatology, dentistry, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, neurology, psychology, nephrology, orthopedic, plastic surgery, urology, pulmonology, rheumatology, and many other departments. All departments follow the child-friendly theme. The radiology department is designed following the marine theme with glow-in-the-dark walls to push the child's fear. Apart from the hospital’s departments, it provides many different services such as activities of daily living training (ADL) to assist children in learning basic tasks of everyday life. Another service is assistive device training which focuses on maintaining an individual’s functioning and independence. An additional service is related to Autism Spectrum Disorder where the hospital team arrange clinical assessments and diagnosis to children suffering from ASD and contribute to supporting the children families. This service also includes the Blue Café, a Café that enhances professionals to guide parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on how to handle their child's needs. Al Jalila Hospital’s professionals are known for their great empathy and patience in treating children. The hospital is the house of many physicians, nurses, clinical dieticians, child life specialists, physical therapists, pharmacists, and social workers. All of the physicians are specialized in pediatric covering all fields that may concern the child's health including neurologists, surgeons, psychiatrics, radiologists, and many other professionals. Dealing with children can be critical as children can’t handle the pain as long as adults. That’s why Al Jalila Hospital made sure that the patient journey is easy and fast. The journey beginning depends on whether the patient is heading toward the emergency or clinic. In the emergency, the child will start from the triage where he/she will be assisted by the emergency nurse according to the severity of the condition. The patient will then be seen by the emergency physician. After history taking, examinations, blood tests, and treatment, the patient will either be admitted or discharged. If the patient is coming for the clinic, he will attend according to his appointment and register to be then assisted by the clinic nurse and physician. The colorful atmosphere in Al Jalila hospital indeed has its role in spreading positivity and happiness between the healthcare professionals. The respect the doctors giving the introductory presentation had for each other was shown to all the audience. They were helping each other in delivering ideas. During the hospital visit, it was clear how coordinate and organized the trip through the hospital was. All the professionals were supporting each other in making this visit as helpful as it can be to the medical student. The patients’ satisfaction proved the remarkable interaction between healthcare professionals in Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital. It gave them hope and helped them feel safe in the hospital.

As a medical student, I had the opportunity to visit three other hospitals apart from Al Jalila Hospital. These hospitals are Mediclinic City Hospital, Nadd Al Hamar, and Al Barsha Health Centres. They all represented healthcare centres with different level of care than Al Jalila Hospital. For instance, both Nadd Al Hamar and Al Barsha Health Centres represent primary health care, while Mediclinic City Hospital serves a secondary health care system. Nadd Al Hamar and Al Barsha Health Centres are governmental health centers that provide a great variety of departments and services such as traveller, family physician, and specialized clinics. The traveller clinic provides services for travellers such as vaccines, immunization, and travel medicine. However, the family physician clinic offers a huge diversity of services including premarital and pre-employment check-ups. On the other hand, Mediclinic City Hospital is a private hospital that runs branches in many different countries. Mediclinic offers advanced levels of treatment. They hold many departments and services such as cardiology, genetics, geriatrics and much more. Mediclinic is the first hospital in the UAE that has the Baby-Friendly Hospital Accreditation.

In conclusion, I’m grateful that I had the advantage of visiting hospitals. The visits gave me full insight into the hospitals’ atmosphere and distributions. It encouraged me to complete my medical journey and to be part of these hospitals. Aside from all the hospitals I visited, Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital left a huge imprint on me. Its unique interior captivated me. I appreciate its children-oriented atmosphere and healthcare professional dedicating their knowledge and time to cure children and giving them hope that there is more to this life other than sickness.

16 August 2021
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