Saturday, April 18, 2015

Resources Are Something, But Not Everything

A reflection by Karen.

While I look back on my time working in healthcare in mongu district I have come to many realizations. I have constantly been amazed by how fine tuned the nursing and physician judgement skills are here, without being able to rely on costly and time consuming diagnostic tests. This has been role modled to us by our colleagues and many if us have began to feel confident in our own clinical judgement skills and instincts.

Although Lewanika General Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital are very different in terms of resources and funds, the general principles of nursing seem to be universal, but the it's the execution that differs. One easy example of this is the ventilation and air flow seen around the hospital.  

My first day on the wards I was shocked how sick the patients were and yet they did not complain. I immediately thought of the patients we have at home who are constantly on their calls bells and how different this was. To be honest I enjoyed the break. However, I soon realized much of this happens due to an lack of empowerment around personal health. In canada we have empowered our citizens to take responsibility for their health, and it became my goal to help empower patients here as well.

Traditional medicine found at the market. The ones on the right are supposibly used treat HIV, the ones in the middle are for healing sores and many others they were not able to tell me the uses. Results and opinions on this form of medication varies greatly. 

Another focus of mine has been sustainability, mainly through creating and maintaining relationships. Through the past six years students before us and our instructors have created amazing partnerships with nurses, doctors, taxi drivers, and health officials. These help to make our transition into this culture and healthcare system much easier. This year we created a new partnership with Oblate Radio Liseli, where we will be doing a Health Corner on the radio, we will provide basic information on various health topics to help empower the people to take responsibility for their health. These segments will be aired over the next 3 months and we've been invited to continue recording them in Kelowna and sending them back to the local radio station. This is a huge piece in sustainability as we can't get everyone what they need to be healthy but we can give them education to advocate for themselves.

Danielle and Myself recording at Oblate Radio Liseli.

This practicum has shaped me both as a global nurse and global citizen. It is clear this practicum not only helps the people in this community, but also creates well rounded and experienced new grad nurses for our communities at home.  

A photo of me taken during the first week of our international practicum

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