While we’re still heavy into exploring the amazing world of diapers with almost weekly product reviews, of course I’m trying to expand my own horizon with a broader view on medical stuff. To that end, I’m trying to attend conferences, tradeshows and exhibitions and luckily, one was just right in the neighborhood called Medcare. It’s a smaller event for professionals with the focus on seminars and a few information stands, but who knows, it may grow into a bigger show yet. So I took off to the fairgrounds of Leipziger Messe on Wednesday.
Being new to this kind of stuff I didn’t exactly have a plan and more or less just wanted to get a feel for the whole scene. I had only read the itinerary and actually wanted to go on Thursday, but in light of another infection and previously scheduled appointments I had to compromise just as I had to on the number of seminars I could actually sit in. I just didn’t have the whole day. Anyway, the over-arching topics were a mix of hygiene practices, elderly care, special care for people needing to be fed with a tube, wound care and ostomy.
First I strolled the halls to get an idea where everything was (and where to swipe some swag later ;-) ) and then I sat down for a presentation with the lady below, Gonda Bauernfeind, on the subject of decubitus/ degenerative ulcers from pressure such as they frequently plague bedridden people or people in a wheelchair.
She was a true force of nature and quite funny at pointing out several “We all know how we should be doing things, but don’t do them…” situations, recognizing the stress and time constraints many care nurses usually work under. After her presentation had ended, I left and made a second pass and took a few pictures of the stands and grabbed some souvenirs.
The above system is meant to get people into position e.g. after they had fallen or their bodies are so fragile, you cannot move them conventionally. I didn’t try it out, but it worked quite well and I can imagine, that such a pressurized mat even feels cosy in an odd sense when it presses against your body. In any case, the irony probably is, that while such systems exist, you won’t find them in too many facilities due to the cost and care personnel break their backs using conventional biers and recovery boards to take grandma back to her bed.
Speaking of care personnel – if you had marketable skills and the required certifications, you could have walked away with a new job contract on the spot. The labor shortage in this business seems to be really severe and everyone is hiring.
Most nurses have one of those watches in one of their pockets or hanging from a button hole, BTW, and those colorful examples just look nice.
Slightly less funny is all that ostomy stuff. When you see those inserts, you’re really glad to be just shitting your diapers and not have a hole in your peritoneum connected to your intestines. Pictures of such a situation are pretty *yuck* and not easy to get used to. Same is true for wound care, but I can show you at least a picture of some patches and bandages. Quite a different thing than what you may have at home in case you cut your fingers…
Since we’re dealing a lot with incontinence matters here on this little blog I cannot go without at least a snapshot of some urethral catheters. This is actually a whole system with vents, shunts and manifolds plus fixation belts for the urine bags.
Finally I couldn’t go without taking at least a snapshot of the Bärenherz Children’s Hospice stand, though the thought of those poor little ones always makes me terribly sad. If you want to make a donation, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
As a first time visit inevitably I was flying blind a lot, but it was an insightful experience and I’m sure going to write a bit more about this and that on some occasion. If nothing else, it helps to get a feel for why things are as they are and one gets a totally different view of the complexities and everyday struggles of the medical care industry. I really have to thank the people at Leipziger Messe for allowing me this peek into this world…