Working out of my comfort and fear zones – Engineers for World Health

Working out of my comfort and fear zones

This week was our last full week at Rwamagana Hospital, and the most work-filled week we have had so far. One of our BMETs went to a training in Kenya, and the other one broke his leg on Wednesday. So, we only had one BMET that was responsible for everything at the hospital. He challenged us to work in environments and departments we have never worked in.

We repaired an incubator in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and it was our first time to repair something that had not spent at least 2 weeks in the workshop. This incubator was put back in service after nurses cleaned it.

Pascale and Lauren after repairing an incubator in the NICU.



Usually when there is not a lot of work, our BMETs give us extension cords and laptop chargers to repair.

Gabriella and Pascale repairing a laptop charger.

This week was also marked by us working in the mortuary which was beyond my work expectations. The maintenance department is right near the mortuary, and we passed through many times because it is also a shortcut to reach other departments in the hospital. But we had never entered rooms where dead people are. It was a scaring experience entering the room where mortuary refrigerators are kept, but it forced us to work out of our comfort and fear zones.

My team ready to work in the mortuary.


A timer that was not working on one of the refrigerators in the mortuary.

We did not finish repairing the timer because our BMET was called to distribute oxygen to different departments, and wanted us to repair an X-ray viewer for the emergency department.

My team after helping our BMET repair an X-ray viewer.

My team with John (BMET), and the working X-ray viewer.

Also, this week we also changed fluorescent light bulbs in Internal medicine, and change door locks in emergency which gave me the ability to sometimes be my own technician.

Our time in Rwamagana would have not been the same if we would have not met the Swiss nursing students. They became our friends and helped us enjoy our free time even more.

My team with our Swiss friends we met at Rwamagana Hospital.

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