#28: Armboard for children with IVs.
Tear long-edge box top from cardboard box. Fold in half the long way. Place child’s arm into the fold. Secure armboard to the child’s arm with long strips of tape (careful not to catch the tape on your gloves, as it will instantaneously adhere to your glove and tear it). Take a pair of gloves, knot the fingers together. Shove child’s hand into the center of the glove. Tie the glove to their wrist with ties torn from a yellow gown. Repeat on other hand.
This will prevent the child from ripping out their IV for approximately one hour, instead of the usual four minutes.
#34: Pyxis (aka med box). Take box. Create dividers out of cardboard. Duct tape dividers into the box. Label compartments. Stock with meds. Then stock with more meds, then give up on labelling and just shove everything in there.
#51: Trash can. When full, carry entire thing to burn pit and toss it in.
#64: Balancing a cholera bed with a short leg. Shove cardboard under short leg until bed no longer wobbles when patient staggers onto it. Replace cardboard when soaked with chlorine and/or Ebola.
#82: Covering the hole in a cholera bed. When a cholera bed is used for a child under the age of 10, the child will almost universally be skinny enough to fall though the hole. Flatten an entire box. Place over hole. Place child on top of box on bed. Also serves well as a bedsheet that can be easily discarded and replaced when soiled.
#87: Chart. Scribble update on patient on piece of cardboard. Lean cardboard against the wall near the fence to the green zone. After doffing, head to fence, squint hard over the distance, read notes, transcribe to outside chart.
Martha, I cannot begin to tell you how moved I am by your posts. Thank you for sharing your experience, your sense of humor and your sense of duty and obligation. These people are so lucky to have you there for them. Be well, come home safe when it’s time and let’s get together when you’re back. You are a remarkable person who I would really like to get to know better.