Tata Internship: Week 3
Week 3 TATA Medical centre, Kolkata By Joe and Milou
In the past week and a half our cost and time analysis of the palliative care centre Premashraya has really developed. After designing an observation spreadsheet and piloting its categories at the end of last week, we have now spent the past five days observing the ward and its patients and recorded all activities. This, due to the severity of the patients’ conditions, was at times hard to watch for the both of us. However, the nurses and doctors on the ward have been only welcoming and helpful.
Observing the ward also came with its challenges. In particular the language barrier between us and the patients and staff meant that understanding what was going on could be difficult. This is also the biggest challenge we face outside of work. Guiding taxi drivers or ordering food, it all requires a little bit more patience than usual. Despite this little obstacle, we now have a wealth of data which we can now analyse and use to form our report.
It’s monsoon season in Kolkata now and even though it’s still dry, sunny and uncomfortably humid most of the time, the potential for a sudden downpour has led to a couple of drenchings.
Milou managed to convince Ahmed, the housekeeper in charge of our guesthouse, to cook us pasta. Her success possibly had something to do with him having given away the rest of her specially reserved cake which was bought to celebrate her graduation. This was the first time he had deviated from his classic Indian meals which, although are delicious, can get slightly repetitive which some of us are struggling with a little.
Last weekend was a busy one for all of us interns. It was an early start of around half five on Saturday to catch our three hour van drive from the hospital to Sundarban national park. This UNESCO world heritage site is a 539 square mile wildlife sanctuary, considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Our aim was to see a tiger and soon after our arrival we were on a boat, making progress into the coastal mangrove forest. Seven hours later, after a day spent relaxing in the sun on the slow moving boat, we returned having seen monkeys, turtles and crocodiles but unfortunately no tigers.
Sunday was a much less tiring day, and started with a taxi downtown to a flower market, followed by a tour around an old building once lived in by a king and finally to our favourite cafe for lunch. After which we each went our separate ways either in search of more markets, new shops or for just a spot to read.
Next week we will continue our analysis and analyse the collected data. For now, a weekend awaits in which we will further explore the city of Kolkata!