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Brothers in Arms

Posted by Bibhusan Basnet

Raviman, Bayalpata Hospital’s Pharmacist, reminds me of one of Chad Kroeger’s songs: “and they say that a hero can save us.”

Raviman (our pharmacist) reading though the patient booklet and preparing the medication list for the patients waiting outside his pharmacy window.

He is the ultimate hero at Bayalpata Hospital (BH).  Without him, the care and service we provide to the patients would be incomplete to say the least.

He is always busy in the pharmacy, where we supply free drugs to all of our patients.  Starting early in the morning, patients line up at his window with their patient booklets and medication prescriptions.  He is busy from then until the end of the day.  Undaunted by the heavy traffic outside his window, I find him distributing the medicines patiently, with full care, and without complaints.  Even when busy, he takes the time to draw circles on the blister packs to help the patients easily remember their correct doses, and carries out drug counseling in a local Achhami tone.

At first impression Raviman comes across as a young man just starting his professional career, but upon closer observation one is mesmerized by how a man this young can have thoughts so mature and actions so efficient.  It is amazing how Raviman singlehandedly makes it look so easy to do work that demands precise mental and physical presence for at least 8 hours a day.  In just two years, Raviman has developed expertise that usually only comes after years of professional exposure.  The passion with which he approaches his work is very telling of this young man.

The stocks in the main pharmacy are kept well organized and stacked.  He is always vigilant that the medicines are readily available in the pharmacy, and regularly fills up forms for the weekly procurements from our store.  Following our recent procurement meetings and quotations from medications vendors, we have started ordering bulk monthly procurements of medications for the hospital.  He was extremely sensitive towards choosing the best drugs within his knowledge from certified, trustworthy drug companies.  Raviman seems totally satisfied with the new procurements, and exclaims with pride that “now the patients can have the best drugs and best care.”  His care is clearly reflected in the type of counseling that he gives to the patients.  He has added to the trusting relationship we have with our patients.

Patients waiting outside our pharmacy window to receive the quality medications we supply free at Bayalpata hospital. .The shade of a roof outside the pharmacy is indeed important in improving the quality of our care.

Ravi empathizes with the patients and expresses the procurement needs based on the problems they face.  A few weeks back, he came up with the idea of building an awning in front of his window, where the patients queue for their medicines.  The shade of a roof outside the pharmacy is indeed important to improving the quality of our care.  The construction plan has been in the pipeline since then, and once built, the shade is sure to relieve the patients from the scorching sun and heavy rainfall they currently have to withstand while queuing up to get medications from the pharmacy.

Distributing medications to more than 150 patients per day is not an easy task.  There are 3-4 medics in the regular outpatient departments daily for examining patients, with only a single person in the pharmacy to distribute the prescribed drugs.  But Raviman does not complain, as he enjoys his job and interacting with his patients.  Sometimes we find his window crowded with patients waiting for drugs, making Raviman confused or hasty.  Yet when we go there he always welcomes us with his broad smile and asks what he can do for us.

If not for his right-sided sternocleidomastoid muscle hypertrophy, due to him addressing patients on his right for hours, he

Raviman (our pharmacist), left and Tilak Rawal (our Medical assistant), right, busy during the OPD hours distributing the medicines as prescribed.

would be content doing the job alone.  After a trial of muscle relaxants and with our Country Director, Gregory’s advice, we added a new job responsibility for our Medical Assistant, Tilak Dai, so that after 1 p.m. he would be with Raviman in the pharmacy to distribute medications.  The pharmacy seems to be more relaxed and coordinated since we have the brothers in arms.  The consistent pain in his neck muscles has resolved.  Raviman seems happy these days and he says that “it’s not just because he has a helping hand, it’s mostly for the reason that from now onwards the patients can have better counseling along with the best drugs we supply at BH.”

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Dr. Bibhusan Basnet , MBBS graduated from B.P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences,Nepal. He has a special interest in Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry and is currently the Medical Director for Nyaya Health.

One Response to “Brothers in Arms”

  1. Agya says:

    :) when you are living in a place like achham or even elsewhere, it is inevitable to develop deep personal connections with the people you work with. Amidst such relationships it is a real challenge to keep the personal away from the professional. The ease with which he worked without letting his personal relationships with his colleage affect his professional work in the pharmacy and vice versa was really impressive. As I was working in Achham, I learnt from him to tread on this edge. Nice post! Thank you and cheers to you Ravi!

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