The Children's Hospital

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My Learning Experience at Loma Linda

By Dr. Huang Guoping from Nephrology Department: Guoping
 Although I have been back to China for one month, I miss Loma Linda very much. I miss the bright sunshine of California and friendly people at Loma Linda. From October to December, 2016, Dr. Xu Yingchun and I went to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for an eight-week mentorship as visiting exchange scholars. Loma Linda University founded in 1905 is located in Southern California. This region is the second largest metropolis in the United States with over 18 million residents. Loma Linda is a quiet and pretty small city. Loma Linda University is an excellent Adventist university, especially in medicine. Our hospital and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital have established a long-term cooperative relationship since 2006. During the past ten years, doctors and nurses of our two hospitals had frequent exchanges. Each year, there are 6-8 doctors and nurses who go to LLU for this mentorship program.
This time I was invited by Dr. Sahney who is the chief of Pediatric Nephrology. The Department of Pediatric Nephrology consists of general ward, clinics, Team Center Clinic and Kidney Center. The majority of patients in the Team Center Clinic are those who have received kidney transplants or are going to receive kidney transplants. While in the Kidney Center are long-term peritoneal dialysis patients. From my point of view, the biggest difference between Chinese and American hospitals is that American doctors have much more time to communicate with their patients. They can learn more about patients, and each patient has an individualized and detailed treatment plan, which helps to reduce conflicts and built a trust relationship between doctors and patients. Another big difference is that when doctors are in clinical rounds in the ward, each group has a social worker. His or her job is not to make treatment plans but to help patients and their families in other ways. For example, some patients can’t afford a car, so it’s difficult for them to come to the hospital. Social workers will help them book a shuttle to hospital, which is much cheaper. Some patients’ families can’t afford medical treatment. Social workers will help them contact the relevant government department to get more resources they need. Maybe they don’t know much about medicine, but they play an important role in the healing process of patients. All of their work is to help patients receive better treatment.
This time I also experienced the most important festival-Thanksgiving Day for the first time in Loma Linda. It is a family day. All the family members get together for dinner and give thanks to people, food, and what they have, which help me better understand the significance of being thankful. During the 8 weeks in Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, all the doctors and nurses are so nice and patient. They helped me to expand awareness and knowledge in advanced clinical practice. Also I learned how to better communicate with patients. Hope I can meet them again in the future.

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