The tile floors, high ceilings, barred windows and whitewashed walls have the feeling of an asylum or hospital from an old movie set depicting a turn of the century dormitory. Up one level is the operating theater, pre-op and post-op areas. We notice right away that the pre-op area has windows with no screens, and several are wide open to provide a breeze in the hot humid #Myanmar weather. Five rows of wooden benches are on one side of the room, where patients are given eye drops and sit together as they wait for their turn in the operating room.
Directly across from the benches is a single bed, with a hanging glass IV bottle, and four large tanks of gas for anesthesia. The operating room is adjacent, and is entered through a double set of sliding doors. Behind the first set is the post-op recovery area with four beds.
Down the other long corridor on this floor are examination and consultations rooms. What is immediately noticeable are the technologies in one of these rooms, including a topography, OCT, and ____ instrument, and a separate laser room next door. In contrast to the rest of the hospital’s vintage feel, this room houses shiny new equipment representing the latest in ophthalmologic technology.
Going up another level, the “Female Ward” stretches across one wing. One hundred beds are arranged in rows in a single open dormitory style arrangement that reminds me of the sleeping quarters in the children’s book Madeline. Metal bed frames and a single mattress with a blue blanket are spaced a few feet apart. In the center of the ward is the nurse’s station, where they still wear the traditional white nurse’s cap and use pens to write notes in a large notebook.
Windows open along both outer walls and the sounds of birds permeate the ward.