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Last month I traveled with other nurses and doctors to Port Au Prince, Haiti with Project Medishare, working at Bernard Mevs, the only neuro-surgical and trauma facility in the region. Project Medishare’s goal is to train Haitian doctors and nurses and to establish sustainable programs so the facility can function independently beyond the departure of expats.
Among my role as ER and Triage nurse, I was anointed “The Hysteric Whisperer.” Many teenage girls and young women came to the hospital via ambulance or private vehicle presenting in catatonic states, hyperventilating or as “post-ictal seizure” patients. We soon learned, these were anxiety/panic attacks. One teenage girl was brought, ambulance lights blazing and sirens blaring for “seizures” – but made eye contact and was purposefully moving around in the gurney – not in a post-ictal state. The doctor approached the patient and shouted, “Prepare to intubate!”
Three minutes later, I held the girl’s hands and helped her off the gurney and onto a chair. Intubation was certainly not necessary. With an astounded look on his face, the doctor asked “How did you do that? That was magic!” I replied, “Want to know the magic? I put my face down close to hers, spoke very slowly, softly and quietly into her ear, and told her ’It’s OK’ over and over and over. Read more…
Jo’s Nurses is a medical mission for current, active nurses who have never volunteered abroad but want to begin to incorporate volunteering into their careers. A small group of nurses (6-8) will travel with One Nurse staff to rural Honduras, where they will work alongside local nurses in various areas of a hospital as well as in rural clinics. One Nurse will provide pre-trip orientation and training so nurses are comfortable and informed.
When: November 5-11, 2012
Where: Rural Honduras
Cost: One Nurse will cover all trip costs except airfare
Application: Use the application on this site and note on your form it is for Jo’s Nurses. There is no application fee for Jo’s Nurses. All applications are due by September 15, 2012. We will let you know by September 30 if you are chosen for the mission.
- Current, active nurses (LPN, RN, ARNP)
- Must be Spanish speaking (translators will not be available)
- Attend 2-3 pre-trip meetings and information sessions (we are working on obtaining CEs for this)
- Nurse to provide airfare round trip Seattle to Tegucigalpa (approx $500)
- Be prepared to share educational opportunities with your local counterparts in Honduras — presentations and while working alongside
- Nurse to update any necessary immunizations and medications
- Nurse must have a valid passport
- Nurse commits to at least one international mission or local volunteer work in 2013
- Preference will be given to Swedish Medical Center employees
- All education levels and areas of expertise are welcome to apply
- Nurses will present their experience as a group to Swedish Nursing Grand Rounds in January 2013.
Emily Sorman, LPN will be traveling to Cusco, Peru with the organization A Broader View. There, she will be working in a small community clinic or hospital providing basic medical care. Most indigenous people, especially the children, lack medial attention. These clinics provide necessary health care including dental check ups and immunizations free of charge.
In her own words,”I am excited to be submerged in another culture where I am
not completely comfortable. I want to understand what it is like for those who don’t have access to the resources we have in the United States. I want to learn and brush up on my Spanish skills. Most importantly, I want to help others who are in need. This is my life’s passion, and it is why I became a nurse. I am looking forward to applying to an LPN to RN program in the fall. Many require volunteer health care experience. I can’t think of a better or more unique way to get this experience.”
Emily feels fortunate to have worked for Swedish Visiting Nurse Services as a Home Health Nurse. Due to financial constraints, the company closed its doors April 27, 2012. This job meant the world to her, but she refused to let it get her down. Read more…
Allsion Godchaux, RN, FNP traveled with Healing the Children to Bahia de la Caraquez, Ecuador April 20 – 27, 2012. In total, they treated 70 patients, mostly children, and one emergent case of a 51 year-old homeless man. The group of 16 medical personnel performed cleft lip and cleft palate repairs; ear reconstructions; tonsillectomies and adenectomies; hernia repairs, scar revisions and many other necessary surgeries. Allison’s role was to be the ‘glue’ within the group. “As a family nurse practitioner I have medical education, training and experience, I have a background in nursing, and I speak Spanish. I was meant to flow between operating rooms, the recovery room, patient and family waiting areas, the upstairs floor where we occasionally needed to admit patients, and interact as a go-between between the volunteers, hospital staff, the health department and social services organization.”
Allison enjoyed seeing the faces of the mother and fathers as their kids came out of the recovery room the most. “The joy of their children being returned to them from surgery was beautiful to behold, as well as their gratitude to us for the services we provided. We go into nursing to help people. It is reaffirming to provide health services to others, and to be fully and honestly appreciated for what we do. Read more…
One Nurse At A Time is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization created by nurses who are passionate about giving back to our local and global community through volunteer and humanitarian medical pursuits. We are dedicated to assisting other nurses enhance our profession as they too, look for opportunities to serve locally, nationally and internationally.
Are you interested in volunteering your nursing skills to those in need, but unsure of how to get started? One Nurse At A Time is here to help make the process easier.
• A DIRECTORY of organizations offering volunteer opportunities for nurses.
• $1000 SCHOLARSHIPS to nurses to help offset the cost of trips. (There are 0 (zero) scholarships available at this time. But you could change that with your donation!)
• COMMUNITY networking opportunities through our Facebook page, Twitter and Blog sites. We also highlight speaking engagements, public events, and publication of articles directed towards volunteer and humanitarian nursing experiences.
• EDUCATION modules intended to help nurses understand disease processes that are uncommon in our work practices at home.
Liza Leukhardt, RN travelled with the organization Nurses for the Nations to India May 14-24. Liza was part of a group of nurses providing charitable medical care in Andra Pradesh, India. Read more…
A young, dangerously emaciated girl, Pulane, in Lesotho is examined and treated at a specialized TB facility, in an attempt to reverse her life threatening condition(s).